Washington writes $100m ticket for Advent’s latest Latin America fund

The Washington State Investment Board has made $250m in fresh commitments. It has also appointed its chief operator, Theresa Whitmarsh, as acting executive director while the pension looks to replace Joseph Dear, who will become CIO at CalPERS.

The $67.6 billion Washington State Investment Board (WSIB) has committed $100 million to Advent Latin American Private Equity Fund V.

The firm’s fourth Latin American fund closed on $1.3 billion in 2007, which Advent said is the region’s largest private equity fund. Washington State committed $25 million to that fund, and made a prior €100 million investment to Advent International Global Fund VI, which closed on $10.4 billion last year.

The board also approved a follow-on investment of $250 million to Corporate Properties of the Americas. Washington State has committed $1 billion to CPA since 2002.

WSIB also appointed an acting executive director, Theresa Whitmarsh, until the pension finds a permanent director to replace Joseph Dear. Dear recently left to join the California Public Employees’ Retirement System as chief investment officer. Dear starts in his new position in March.

Whitmarsh has been the WSIB’s chief operating officer and has been with the pension since 2003. Before joining the WSIB, Whitmarsh was vice president for a software company. She served as assistant and deputy director for the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, running the industrial insurance fund. She also worked as communications director for a California-based insurance trade association.

The pension has roughly $13 billion committed to private equity and more than $9 billion to real estate. WSIB has a 25 percent target to private equity, one of the highest among US public pensions.