Middlesex County Fund Seeks PE Allocation –

Freshman private equity investor Middlesex County Employees’ Retirement System in Massachusetts will allocate up to $15 million to the asset class once it selects an advisor to outline an investment program.

Middlesex County is one of a handful of institutional investors that have made their first-ever allocations to private equity in the last several months. Together they represent about $1 billion of new money coming into the sector.

At its August board meeting the $530 million public pension fund voted to make moves into the private equity and real estate sectors, and its search for a private equity advisor will end today. The retirement system’s consultant, Wainwright Investment Counsel of Boston, is handling the RFP process.

The pension fund’s private equity allocation will fall under its alternative investment portfolio. Middlesex increased its alternative investment allocation to 7% from 5% in October 2000 after noting that its alternative investments had “favorable returns” and “the expectation that a number of partnerships in which it is invested will be returning capital to limited partners in the coming years,” according to a report from the plan’s board.