LA Fire Unveils Trio Of Commitments Worth Total Of $21M

The Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions recently made three new pledges based on the recommendation of its adviser, StepStone Group. A commitment of $12 million went to lnsight Equity II LP, while $4 million went to lnsight Equity Mezzanine I LP and $5 million to DCM VI LP.

Originally Stepstone had suggested committing $7.5 million to lnsight Equity II LP and $2.5 million to lnsight Equity Mezzanine I LP, but at the June 4 board meeting, the adviser recommended increasing those amounts for what they saw as an especially attractive opportunity for the pension fund, Michael Perez, the limited partner’s general manager, told Buyouts.

Based in Southlake, Texas, lnsight Equity Holdings was founded in 2002 by three partners who worked together for more than 11 years at Bain & Company. lnsight Equity II LP and lnsight Equity Mezzanine I LP have targets of $500 million and $250 million, respectively, and will focus on North American lower-middle-market opportunities.

According to board documents, Insight Equity I is in the top percentile of similar funds, with a net IRR of 87 percent and a 2.5x total value multiple. Fund II will continue the strategy of restructuring underperforming, operationally challenged or financially distressed mid-market companies. lnsight Equity Mezzanine I LP will provide mezzanine capital to companies that also include equity investments from the firm. Insight Equity is putting up 10 percent of total commitments to both funds.

DCM is a venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, Calif. The shop has a target of $475 million for DCM VI, which is focused on investments in Silicon Valley and China. DCM VI will continue the firm’s strategy of targeting sectors such as gaming, digital media, mobile communications, energy efficiency and software as a service.

The $11 billion Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions has a 10 percent target allocation to private equity. Adjusting for an overallocation factor of 1.5x, the maximum amount it can commit to private equity is now $1.65 billion. Funded and unfunded commitments currently stand at a total of $1.32 billion, or $330 million less than the maximum commitment amount.

In other news, Perez said he plans to present a comprehensive disclosure policy at the July 9 meeting of the pension fund’s board. The move comes in the wake of the pay-to-play scandal involving the New York State Common Retirement Fund. Dallas-based private equity adviser Aldus Equity Partners and its founder are facing charges related to the alleged kickback scheme, and Aldus Equity was one of Los Angeles Fire’s private equity advisers until the LP terminated the relationship in early May.

The pension fund, however, has maintained its relationship with StepStone despite the firm being indirectly connected to the scandal. Ex-StepStone president Stephen Moseley resigned his post on May 8, citing reports that linked him to the alleged scheme. Moseley is not a target in the ongoing investigation, but he has past ties to PCG Capital Partners, the private equity unit of Pacific Corporate Group, and Estes Management LLC, the private equity unit of Clinton Group Inc. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint in April alleging PCG Capital and Clinton Group participated in the kickback scheme.