In the private equity world, the California Teachers’ Retirement System normally plays second fiddle to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. But CalSTRS recently stepped into the spotlight, collecting about $2.9 billion in distributions from September 2014 to March 2015, while adding 13 new fund commitments.
The Blackstone Group added the most to the pension’s wallet in the six-month time frame. The 2005-vintage Blackstone Capital Partners V LP distributed $320.9 million to CalSTRS. Next up was the Jordan Company’s second flagship, Resolute Fund II, which generated $141.8 million. The Carlyle Group finished third in absolute distribution. Carlyle’s third Europe-focused fund distributed $134.9 million to the retirement system.
Remarkably, at least five funds recorded a distribution percentage of 100 percent (distributions as a percent of contributed capital). At the top of the list, in terms of the amount distributed to CalSTRS, was Energy Spectrum Capital, whose Energy Spectrum Partners VI returned $12.6 million.
In a virtual tie for second were Capital Partners III (a 2014 vintage fund that distributed $1.2 million) and Gores Small Capitalization Partners (a 2012 vintage fund that shelled out $1.1 million).
OrbiMed Advisors finished fourth, but had the highest IRR of all 10 highlighted funds, sporting a robust 72.9 percent IRR for OrbiMed Private Investments V. Each of the top five lists are well diversified, as there were no firms that appeared on both.
According to its website, CalSTRS’ private equity portfolio has produced a 13.5 percent return on investment since inception. All told, the pension had over $42.9 billion in committed capital across 296 active funds as of March 31, 2015. Those active investments have a combined $33.9 billion drawn down and produced $32.3 billion in realized returns.
Download the LP Scorecard table as a spreadsheet: CalSTRS LP Scorecard Table