Virginia Retirement increases private equity allocation

The state retirement system has increased private equity and real estate allocations by 3 percent, saying it wants more flexibility in its investments.

The $58 billion (€38 billion) Virginia Retirement System has approved plans to allow its private equity and real estate allocations to increase to 10 percent from 7 percent, sister website PrivateEquityRealEstate.com has learned.

The Richmond–based scheme, which represents Virginia's public sector employees, approved the increase in the maximum investment cap at a recent meeting in an effort to improve flexibility, spokeswoman Jeanne Chenault said.

Last fiscal year private equity was the retirement system’s top-performing asset class, returning 32 percent.

As of June 2007, the value of its private equity program was approximately $3.6 billion. Virginia invests in leveraged buyout funds as well as venture capital, growth capital, sub-debt, distressed, energy and special situations funds.

The retirement system said in a 2007 annual financial report that it considers its top 10 private equity fund managers to be: Welsh Carson Anderson and Stowe, Hellman & Friedman, Madison Dearborn Capital Partners, Apax Partners, TA Associates, Nordic Capital, First Reserve Corporation, TPG, Summit Partners and Charterhouse.