The Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board (MassPRIM) posted a return of 13.4% over the past fiscal year. Included in that is 26.3% for alternative investments, such as venture capital and leveraged buyout funds. This bests recent alternative returns for CalPERS and CalSTRS, which came in at 22.8% and 25%, respectively.
The pension plan made headlines last year when it released IRR-performance data for its 103 private equity partnerships. MassPRIM has long been an investor in private equity. The pension plan really got started in the asset class in the late 1980s with investments in the likes of Permira, Sovereign Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Forstmann Little, among others. Most recently, bets MassPRIM made on funds from Advent International, Apollo Management, First Reserve Corp. and Texas Pacific Group have reaped profits for the plan. The firm was also among those to commit to the latest offering from Code Hennessy & Simmons, making a $50 million investment in the Chicago firm’s fifth fund.
This past April, the $35.2 billion pension fund, which is headed by Michael Travaglini, announced the hiring of Stanley Mayromates as the new chief investment officer. Mayromates replaced Jerrold Mitchell, who retired. Alongside that news, MassPRIM also named Cliffwater LLC as its new investment advisor, ending a roughly 20-year relationship with its former advisor Wilshire Associates.
In addition to private equity and venture, MassPRIM has also been flirting with the idea to increase its exposure to hedge funds. The system has invested a sizeable amount of capital into funds of hedge funds, but has been looking to possibly make direct investments as a way to avoid fees.