Missouri ups PE target

The Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System raised its target allocation to private equity after it reached the ceiling in the summer of how much to invest in the asset class.

The state pension fund now plans to invest as much as 7.5% of its $8 billion pension fund to private equity, up from 5 percent. It also increased its allocation target to alternative assets to 25%, up from 20 percent. The pension fund primarily invests in middle market funds and distressed debt vehicles.

Missouri began investing in alternatives in 2002 and has committed to such buyout shops as BLUM Capital Partners, Catterton Partners, DDJ Capital Management, Oaktree Capital Management, Relational Investors, Silver Lake Partners and Wind Point Partners.

As of June 30, Missouri’s actual exposure to alternatives reached 20.1%, or $1.6 billion, with 5.4% in private equity, according to the state pension fund’s website.

Missouri’s pension fund is in the process of creating a schedule to establish the pension’s investment pace going forward, said Scott Peppard, the newly installed head of investments for the asset class. Peppard joined Missouri State Employee’s in September after more than 15 years with Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, where he oversaw public equity investments. The move was inspired by a desire “to expand my depth of knowledge in several different asset classes,” he said. —Joshua Payne