Mesirow Passes Lowered Targets For Two Funds

Funds-of-funds manager Mesirow Financial Private Equity has passed the targets of two of the funds of funds it’s raising, although those targets have been lowered since the economy ran into trouble.

The firm has so far gathered $540 million for Mesirow Financial Private Equity Partnership Fund V LP, surpassing its current target of $500 million. The original target for the vehicle was $900 million, but when the economy tanked and fundraising became extremely challenging, the firm opted to cut its goal. The predecessor vehicle closed in 2007 with $900 million. The Orange County Employees Retirement System is a backer of both Funds IV and V.

About 35 percent to 40 percent will to to U.S. mid-market growth or buyout funds, and one-quarter will go to venture capital. The rest will be divided among special situations, including mezzanine or industry-focused strategies, and funds based in northern and western Europe. Mesirow Financial commits over a three-vintage-year timeframe, usually pledging to about 40 managers.

In addition, the group has raised $140 million so far for its direct co-investment vehicle Mesirow Financial Capital Partners Fund X LP. The amount falls within the team’s reduced target range of $125 million to $150 million for the vehicle. The original target had been $250 million. The strategy is to invest $10 million to $15 million per deal in growth private equity, take-privates or venture capital deals alongside some of the general partners in the funds-of-funds portfolio.

The prior co-investment vehicle closed in 2005 with $150 million, with limited partners such as the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, Firemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago and the Norfolk County (Mass.) Retirement System.

The Chicago-based firm has $3 billion of assets under management.