NYSCRF Pledges to VC and Overseas F-O-F

The $120 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund made two private equity pledges totaling $125 million in March, one to a venture capital firm and the other to a funds-of-funds manger.

New York-based DFJ Gotham Ventures received a $25 million commitment for its second fund, which is targeting $125 million. This is a new relationship for the pension fund. DFJ Gotham Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm that makes investments in information technology startups based in the Northeast United States and Israel. DFJ Gotham is part of the Draper Fisher Jurvetson Global Network. Other backers of DFJ Gotham Fund II include funds of funds CS Strategic Partners IV VC Holdings and Lehman Brothers Custom Fund A.

The PCGI/NYSCRF Emerging Europe Investment Program was the recipent of an $100 million commitment from NYSCRF. This is also a new relationship. Washington, DC-based PCGI manages funds of funds, separate accounts and co-investments in private equity markets outside the United States, Canada and Western Europe. The firm has more than $1 billion under management.

In other news, the New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, sole trustee of the pension fund, recently banned the use of placement agents, paid intermediaries and registered lobbyists in investments with NYSCRF, in response to civil and criminal charges brought in March and April, involving illegal fees paid in return for commitments from NYSCRF to private equity firms.