Ohio BWC One Step Closer To Secondary Sale

Target: PE Portfolio of Ohio BWC

Value: $366 million

Secondary Advisor: UBS Securities

Strategic Advisor: Wilshire Associates

Following a nearly five-month search, the embattled Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (Ohio BWC) has hired UBS Securities to sell its private equity portfolio on the secondary market, according to reports.

Ohio BWC, which holds approximately $16 billion in assets, issued a request for information (RFI) regarding the potential secondary sale earlier this year. The pension’s total private equity commitments stand at more than $800 million with about half of those having already been invested. The current market value of the assets given was reportedly $366 million.

Ohio BWC ran afoul of many GPs when it threatened to release a report that included sensitive data, such as portfolio company valuations and methodology notes for its 68 private equity fund investments. While Ohio BWC ultimately decided to not release the contested underlying portfolio company information, it did unveil performance data for the funds in which it invested.

The report was originally prompted by an ongoing Ohio political scandal known as “Coingate,” in which Ohio BWC monies were invested, and lost, in a rare coins scheme. One result—in addition to resignations and likely prison sentences—was that Ohio BWC retained Chicago advisory firm Ennis Knupp & Associates to formally review the valuations of all its private equity fund investments.

At the same time, the bureau began an effort to streamline its costs and hired as an advisor Wilshire Associates, which will also help oversee the UBS Securities auction.

Ohio BWC has invested in The Carlyle Group, Castle Harlan, HarbourVest Partners, Lexington Partners, Invesco Private Capital and Wind Point Partners, among others.

According to Dow Jones, UBS won the mandate by topping competing proposals from Lehman Brothers, NYPPE Holdings and Triago. —K.M.