Ohio school employees’ pension bucks trend, seeks new relationships

Relationships with existing managers have been in vogue with LPs facing hard decisions in a tough economic climate.

School Employees’ Retirement System of Ohio did not re-up with several managers in the fiscal year 2022 and will emphasize finding new opportunities over the next year to replace current managers that no longer meet its investment criteria.

Many LPs have prioritized making commitments to existing managers, stressing the importance of maintaining relationships during a tumultuous economic climate. Ohio SERS showed a contrary view in a presentation made by investment staff at its board meeting on October 20. Buyouts reviewed the presentation.

According to the presentation, Ohio SERS focuses on portfolio fit, past performance, management teams, process and their products when evaluating new investments.

Over the past year, Ohio SERS reported a one-year gain of 34 percent to its private equity portfolio, beating its benchmark by 12 percent, the presentation said.

The $17.3 billion system currently allocates 13 percent of its total fund to private equity. It targets a 12 percent allocation with an acceptable range between 8 percent and 16 percent, according to the presentation.

Ohio SERS made $597 million in commitments in fiscal year 2022, according to the presentation. These include:

• $75 million to Carlyle Asia Partners Growth II. This is Ohio SERS’s first commitment to Carlyle Group.

• $50 million to Light Speed Venture Partners Opportunity Fund II. This is the system’s first commitment to this manager.

• $75 million to Bridgepoint Europe VII;

• $50 million to Green Equity IX;

• $50 million to LGP Jade II;

• $100 million to Francisco Partners VII;

• $50 million to Francisco Partners Agility III;

• $8 million to a co-investment vehicle with LLCP LMM II focused on IPM, which provides field machining, metrology and diamond wire-cutting services to infrastructure and industrial assets.

• $19 million to a co-investment vehicle with Bridgeport Europe VII;

• $10 million to a co-investment vehicle with FS Equity Partners VIII focused on White Water Express, which operates car washes in Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan.

• $10 million to Francisco Partners V focused on Renaissance, a provide of software and analytic platforms to the K-12 education market.