Arizona Public Safety Likely To Spend $200M In 2011

The $6.5 billion Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System will likely commit about $200 million next year to private equity, as it approaches its target to the asset class.

In the next 12 months, the limited partner will pledge “anywhere from nothing to $300 million, depending on opportunity costs, though I suspect we’ll stay fairly consistent with previous practice, which is somewhere around $200 million,” said Private Equity Strategist Mark Steed.

The plan sponsor’s target to the asset class is 8 percent, with a range of 6 percent to 12 percent. The actual allocation now stands at 7 percent, said Steed.

“We are looking to capitalize on liquidity dislocations across multiple industries and structures…We’re trying not to draw any preemptive conclusions as an organization regarding specific segments until we see the offerings,” Steed noted.

Recent commitments include a pledge of $25 million to JMI Equity Fund VII, earmarked for growth equity investments in software, Internet and business services companies, and $20 million for Avalon Ventures, a venture capital firm focusing on the wireless data and life science industry. Originally the LP wanted to commit $40 million to JMI, but the vehicle “was oversubscribed and our allocation as a new LP was reduced,” said Steed.

The LP uses StepStone Group as a consultant for its U.S. and South American private equity investments and Albourne Partners for its global private equity program.