Fresno County: Study Advocates Edging Up PE Allocation

A recent asset allocation study by the $2.7 billion Fresno County Employees’ Retirement Association has determined that a slight boost to the group’s private equity target allocation is in order.

The study found the target should rise to 7 percent from 6 percent, with a maximum of 8 percent. The current actual allocation is only funded at the 4.6 percent level, or about $135 million. The study forecasts a return of 10.7 percent for private equity over the next 10 years.

The limited partner is now working on a plan to better reflect the new allocation targets, and it’s conducting a search for a general investment consultant to help with all asset classes.

“An implementation plan for the changes to the current asset allocation (including private equity) is in the works, and I hope to present it to the board in the fall,” said Roberto L. Peña, retirement administrator.

An RFP related to the consultant search was issued in May, and six proposals were received. Staff recommended Mercer, NEPC and Wurts & Associates. The finalists will present to the board at the September 17 meeting.

Past private equity pledges by Fresno County have included $15 million each to Blackstone Group’s Blackstone Capital Partners Funds III and IV; $20 million to New Mountain Capital’s New Mountain Partners LP; and $15 million each to TCW’s TCW Shared Opportunity Funds III and IV; and $25 million to Warburg Pincus’s WP Private Equity X LP. Fresno began committing to alternative investments in 1998.