Allstate’s Keehn Headed To London With Broad Mandate

Peter Keehn, who manages a $2.2 billion portfolio of alternative investments for insurance giant Allstate, is moving to London to head up Allstate’s entire international investment portfolio, both conventional and alternative.

Allstate Investments LLC, the insurance company’s investment arm, previously announced its intention to open the London office to pave the way for making more foreign investments. Keehn, who joined Allstate four years ago from Waud Capital Partners, plans to leave the Northbrook, Ill., headquarters later this month to take charge of the office. “We’re investors in every class of assets you can imagine,” Keehn told Buyouts.

Within a year, Allstate expects to have three professionals dedicated to alternative assets in London. Keehn has described the build-up as a way to make Allstate “more nimble,” particularly on the direct investments that Allstate makes alongside general partners.

Allstate eventually wants to commit one-third of its alternative investments to funds based overseas—starting in Europe but also including Asia, South America and South Africa. As recently as 2002, just 11 percent of its commitments went to international funds. “It’s not hard to start running out of good opportunities if you confine yourself to the U.S,” Keehn said in an interview for a Buyouts profile last month.

Allstate’s $2.2 billion portfolio of alternative investments—which includes unfunded commitments—accounts for about 1 percent of the $120 billion held by Allstate Investments. Keehn plans to help increase that allocation to between 3 percent and 5 percent.—J.H.