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Maine May Pledge $250M Next Year

The Maine Public Employees Retirement System will likely commit $150 to $250 million during the next 12 months as its fledgling private equity program expands from a negligible allocation toward its ultimate goal of 5 percent.

The $10 billion limited partner recently committed up to a $30 million to GTCR Fund X, earmarked for investments in health care, financial technology and services, and information technology and services, and up to $75 million to Prima Capital’s Prima Mortgage Investment Trust, which makes commercial mortgage investments.

“All strategies look interesting at this point,” said Andrew Sawyer, the agency’s chief investment officer. “We have recently made commitments to distressed, buyout and energy, but we are talking to folks in all areas including infrastructure and real estate.”

The LP’s actual allocation to private equity stood at 0.2 percent, as of Sept. 30.

In 2009, Maine pledged $30 million to distressed debt fund OCM Opportunities Fund VIII LP and $30 million to Hellman & Friedman Capital Partners VII LP. Other general partners include mega-buyout firm Carlyle Group and distress specialist H.I.G. Bayside.

Maine hired California-based Cliffwater LLC last year to provide private equity investment consulting services. Sawyer joined the LP in early 2008 and created the private equity program.