Ohio State Teachers Raises PE Target

The State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio is boosting its allocation to private equity to 5 percent from 3.5 percent. The moves come as a result of a study conducted in concert with its investment consultant Russell Investment Group.

The limited partner commits an average of $1.3 billion per year to private equity, mostly going to existing relationships, but also with the occasional pledge to a new manager. The state commits mostly to domestic private equity and venture capital funds, but also pledges to non-U.S. private equity, mezzanine, distressed debt and energy funds. The LP prefers direct funds. Funds of funds and separate accounts will be used sparingly because of the additional layer of management fees. The pension fund will not consider direct investments because of the additional staff and industry expertise that is required for that. Co-investments with existing managers are considered on a case-by-case basis.

In other news, the pension fund is searching for a new investment consultant to be picked in October 2009. The firm or firms chosen will serve as a consultant for equities and fixed income, as well as overall asset allocation, real estate assets and alternative investments.

Past commitments have included those to Apollo Management, The Blackstone Group, Francisco Partners, Leonard Green & Partners, Oak Hill Capital Partners and Silver Lake. As of June 30, 2008, the alternative asset allocation stood at 4.99 percent; the average long-term allocation for alternatives is 3.5 percent.