LP corner, week of May 25, 2009

Oklahoma Teachers opts to cut Aldus ties

The Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System voted on May 13 to end its relationship with Aldus Equity Partners.

The firm and its founder Saul Meyer face charges in connection with the alleged kickback scheme involving the New York State Common Retirement Fund. Aldus Equity had managed a $450 million private equity fund of funds mandate for the $9 billion Oklahoma pension fund.

“After thorough evaluation, a recommendation to terminate the relationship was clearly in the best interest of the system and our clients,” said James Wilbanks, executive secretary of the pension fund, in a prepared statement.

Wilbanks added that there are no allegations of impropriety on the part of Aldus Equity, a Dallas-based private equity advisory firm, in the work it has done for the Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System.

The state pension fund chose Aldus Equity to handle its first private equity mandate last year, and it will conduct a search for a new private equity funds manager to replace the advisor. In the meantime, the portfolio will be managed internally.

The board is now considering a policy that would prohibit its managers from paying placement agents and other third parties. —Nancy Gordon

Colorado Fire & Police seeks small buyout funds

The $2.5 billion Fire & Police Pension Association of Colorado intends to commit $75 million to private equity in 2009, primarily to small buyout and distressed funds, said CIO Scott Simon.

So far this year, the limited partner has committed $7.5 million to TA Associates’ 11th fund. Boston-based TA Associates intends to raise $3.5 billion for TA XI to make growth equity investments in technology, financial services, business services, health care and consumer sectors in North America, Europe and India. The firm has raised $2.83 billion in commitments to date, according to a recent regulatory filing.

Earlier this year, the pension fund pledged $10 million to New Enterprise Associates for its 13th venture capital fund. As of January, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based firm had raised $1 billion for NEA XIII, which will invest in information technology, health care and biotechnology companies.

In 2008, the Colorado LP pledged to energy fund First Reserve Fund XII and generalist fund Catterton Partners VII. —Nancy Gordon

Montana LP unveils two pledges totaling $25M

The $6 billion Montana Board of Investments said it committed $25 million combined to two buyout funds earlier this year, giving the limited partner exposure to both the mega and middle markets.

A pledge of $15 million went to Hellman & Friedman’s seventh fund. The San Francisco-based buyout shop has set a target of $10 billion for the vehicle, which has already raised more than $6 billion in a tough fund-raising environment.

Montana also committed $10 million to the 11th fund of TA Associates, which aims to raise $3.5 billion for the vehicle. In March, the firm cut the carried interest on fund XI to 20% from 25 percent.

Montana has a target allocation to private equity of 12%, with an allocation range of 9% to 15 percent. As of March 31, the LP’s actual private equity allocation stood at 13 percent.

In other news, Montana is looking to hire a portfolio manager for alternative investments. This position is responsible for all activities related to the management of its private equity and the real estate portfolios, which include buyout, special situation, and venture capital and real estate funds. Duties include overseeing the search for, and review of, private equity managers. —Nancy Gordon