Illinois Municipal backs second Abry fund in 2018

  • Assets under management: $42.4 bln
  • Actual allocation to alternatives: 4 pct
  • Target allocation to alternatives: 7 pct
  • Whom to contact: Dhvani Shah, chief investment officer (
  • Why this is important: The pension fund deepens its relationship with Abry Partners

Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund at its Nov. 16 meeting disclosed a $50 million re-up to Abry Partners’ ninth flagship fund.

The target on Abry’s latest fund is unclear. Its eighth fund closed at $1.9 billion in 2014.

Abry had been in the market this year, raising its fourth advanced-securities fund with a $1.5 billion target. Illinois Municipal committed $75 million to that fund in August.

Abry is an important relationship for Illinois Municipal, which invested in 13 Abry vehicles, including equity and debt funds. The system has total exposure to Abry of $218.4 million.

Founded in 1989 by ex-Bain & Co execs Andrew Banks and Royce Yudkoff, Abry invests in lower-middle-market businesses in media, communications and information.

Abry’s PE funds are composed of flagship funds that invest between $50 million and $200 million and heritage funds that invest $20 million to $50 million.

The PE firm is investing out of its eighth flagship fund. It acquired Donuts, a provider of internet domains, in September and a controlling stake in New York-based Screenvision Media in June.

Portfolio companies include FastMed Urgent Care, Aegis Science Corp, Confie, NSM Insurance Group and U.S. Dermatology Partners.

Abry’s flagship funds crossed the $1 billion mark with the sixth fund, which closed at $1.35 billion in 2008. The seventh flagship fund closed at $1.6 billion in 2011.

The firm had been “disciplined” about increasing fund sizes, which investors appreciate, Buyouts affiliate Buyouts reported in 2014.

Several LPs including  Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System, Florida State Board of Administration, Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System and California Public Employees’ Retirement System are invested in Abry’s various funds.

Abry’s seventh fund produced an internal rate of return of 15.6 percent as of Sept. 30, 2017, a Florida SBA report said. Its eighth fund produced an IRR of 9.1 percent as of June 30, 2017, a LACERS report said.

Illinois Municipal’s private equity portfolio accounted for more than $1.3 billion, or 80 percent, of the alternatives portfolio as of June 30, 2018, pension documents show.

Private equity returned 14.87 percent over one year, 11.64 percent over three years, 12.51 percent over five years and 7.96 percent over 10 years for the period ended June 30, 2018.

The PE portfolio has returned 12.91 percent since inception.

Action Item: Read more on Illinois Municipal’s PE investments here