Montgomery Co. Sets Initial 2009 Pledge Pace Of $50M-$70M

The $2.6 billion Montgomery County (Maryland) Employee Retirement Plans is targeting a total commitment of $50 million to $70 million to private equity in 2009, although the board intends to re-evaluate the commitment pace at the mid-year mark.

The limited partner started committing to private equity in 2003 in an effort to achieve higher returns than those available in the public equity markets. As of June 30, 2008, the private equity portfolio formed 5.5 percent of total fund assets. Its breakdown was about two-thirds buyout funds; with the rest mostly in venture capital funds; and a small amount in special situations and distressed/mezzanine vehicles. About half the dollars committed have been called.

The target allocation is 10 percent for private equity, according to Linda Herman, executive director. The pension fund uses four fund-of-funds managers: Adams Street Partners; HarbourVest Partners; Landmark Partners; and Pomona Capital.

In 2008, the LP committed $30 million to Adams Street’s global fund-of-funds and $25 million to Pomona Capital’s secondary fund-of-funds.