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MainePers makes big bets on real assets in Q1

  • Maine commits more than $500 mln to real estate, infrastructure, natural resources
  • KKR and TCV funds among Q1 commitments
  • Pension underweight to many private market assets

Maine Public Employees Retirement Systemramped up its exposure to infrastructure, real estate and natural resources through the first quarter of 2016, according to an internal private markets report.

Maine’s board of trustees approved $750 million in private market fund commitments through March, according to the report. More than $500 million of those first-quarter commitments went to infrastructure, real estate and natural resources funds (see Maine Pers Private Market Activity chart).

The $13.1 billion retirement system is also conducting due diligence on Orion Mine Finance’s second flagship fund and ACM Permanent Crops II, managed by Equilibrium Capital’s agricultural team, according to the report. Buyouts obtained the report through an open-records request.

Why Maine ratcheted up its commitment activity in recent months isn’t clear, but the retirement system was underweight its targeted allocations for infrastructure and natural resources as of March 31, according to its website.

Maine holds 6.2 percent of its assets in infrastructure, 3.8 percentage points off its target. The retirement system’s 3 percent allocation to natural resources was below its 5 percent target.

Chief Investment Officer Andrew Sawyer did not respond to requests for comment.

The retirement system’s commitment activity through early 2016 included its share of private equity funds as well. The retirement system re-upped $60 million each to flagship funds marketed by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co and Technology Crossover Ventures.

The board committed as much as $60 million to Berkshire Partners IX as well but ultimately received a $50 million allocation to the vehicle. A commitment to Thoma Bravo XII has yet to be finalized.

Maine PERS held 7.3 percent of its assets in private equity as of March 31. The pension set a 10 percent target for the asset class.

Action Item: For more information about Maine PERS, visit  www.mainepers.org