Virginia pension commits $215m to private equity

The $55bn Virginia Retirement System has made commitments to TPG, Austin Ventures, Great Hill Partners and Oaktree Capital Management following a 2007 bump in the pension’s private equity allocation to 10 percent.

The Virginia Retirement System has committed $215 million to three private equity funds.

The $55 billion pension, which manages the combined retirement assets of the state’s teachers and other public employees, committed $150 million to TPG’s sixth global buyout fund, which recently closed on $19.8 billion.

The Virginia Retirement System also has committed $40 million to Austin Ventures’ 10th fund, which in September closed on $900 million. Austin Ventures makes early stage venture investments and provides later stage growth equity nationally with a focus on Texas.

US mid-market firm Great Hill Partners received a commitment of $25 million for its fourth fund, which is targeting $1 billion, according to the Probitas Partners 2008 Private Equity Deskbook.

The pension also will invest opportunistically with distressed debt specialist Oaktree Capital Management. No designated commitment amount or funding period was specified. In May, Oaktree closed the largest ever distressed debt fund on $10.9 billion.

In March 2007, the Virginia Retirement System approved plans to allow its real estate and private equity allocations to increase to 10 percent from 7 percent.