NY Teachers Accelerating The Pace

The New York State Teachers’ Retirement System is picking up the pace of its commitments to buyout funds, more than a year after filling its private equity investment officer position.

The limited partner has allocated up to $125 million for the Boston funds-of-funds manager shop HarbourVest Partners LLC through a vehicle called HarbourVest/NYSTRS Co-Invest Fund LP. In addition, the agency, known as NYSTRS, committed up to $100 million in to another HarbourVest vehicle, HIPEP Select Asia Fund LP.

Those allocations, made in October, followed commitments by the agency in July to commit up to $75 million in distressed debt specialist Lone Star‘s latest vehicle, Lone Star Fund VII (US) LP, alongside a similar commitment to Lone Star’s latest real estate fund; and up to £30 million ($47.25 million) in Inflexion 2010 Buyout Fund LP, being raised by the British small-cap shop Inflexion Private Equity Partners LLP.

As of Sept. 30, private equity commitments accounted for 7.6 percent of NYSTRS’s $82 billion portfolio, which was above the 7 percent target for the asset class but comfortably within the range of 4 to 12 percent that the agency’s board has assigned for it.

Dhvani Shah, a former vice president at Bank of America in Chicago, joined the agency in March 2009 as its manager of private equity. The post had been vacant since the previous July.

Although NYSTRS had been making some commitments to the asset class all along, most have been small, generally $50 million slugs or less.

StepStone Group LLC is NYSTRS’ private equity consultant.