Maine Adds Staffers, To Hire Consultant

The Maine Public Employees Retirement System is making strides toward gaining exposure to the private equity asset class.

The pension fund, which has assets of $8 billion under management, has been debating whether to hire a dedicated staff or use outside advisors since its board approved a target allocation of 5 percent to private equity in mid-June. The solution it settled on is a combination of the two choices. The state has already added two alternatives professionals to its staff, said CIO Andrew Sawyer, but it ‘s also likely to move forward with a search for a private equity consultant in the first quarter of 2009.

The additions are Edward Creedon, who was hired as deputy managing director of alternative investments, responsible for investments in private equity, infrastructure, real estate and hedge funds, and Bartley Parker, who joined the pension fund as a senior alternatives analyst.

Sawyer, the third head of investments since 2005, joined the limited partner last February and led the charge into private equity. He told Buyouts the target allocation of 5 percent is expected to be achieved over the next three to five years. The program is expected to include venture capital, buyout, distressed and mezzanine funds.

In other news, Maine is searching for an executive director to fill the position that will be vacated when Gail Drake Wright retires in February. Hudepohl & Associates is leading the search and is conducting preliminary interviews, according to John Milazzo, general counsel and chief deputy executive director.