Fresno Picks Secondary Fund; Narrows Distressed Search

The Fresno County Employees’ Retirement Association has made a decision in its search for a secondary fund manager, and plans to interview four distressed private equity managers in the third quarter. Each strategy will get a $30 million mandate.

In June, the board chose Landmark Capital Partners’s Landmark Equity Partners XIV LP for the secondary pledge, although the commitment is contingent upon satisfactory review of the legal documents, said Roberto Peña, retirement administrator. In addition to Landmark Capital, consultant Wurts & Associates had recommended Lexington Partners, Pantheon Ventures, Partners Group and Pomona Capital.

Landmark Equity Partners XIV LP plans to acquire partnerships that are in years four to six of their lives, are largely funded, and at a point in their lifecycles where underlying investments are closer to liquidity events. Fresno County already has about $19 million invested with Landmark’s Private Equity Fund X.

The candidates to be interviewed later this year for the distressed private equity search include funds of funds Drum Capital Management and Portfolio Advisors. The direct distressed investment options are Angelo Gordon & Co. and DDJ Capital Management. Wurts & Associates also recommended HarbourVest Partners and Oaktree Capital Management.

The $2 billion pension fund’s current private equity commitments total $310 million across 14 partnerships. The program mostly consists of buyout funds, but also includes venture capital and special situations funds. The limited partner’s actual private equity allocation stood at 9.8 percent as of March 31, with a policy target of 11 percent.