OK Teachers Close To Replacing Aldus Equity

The Teachers’ Retirement System of Oklahoma has narrowed to three the number of candidates in the running to replace its former private equity advisor, Aldus Equity Partners.

The finalists for the separate account discretionary mandate are Cliffwater LLC, Franklin Park Associates LLC and Grove Street Advisors LLC, said James Wilbanks, the pension fund’s executive secretary. The three will be interviewed at the LP’s Oct. 28 board meeting, after which a selection will be made. The chosen firm will oversee the construction, implementation and monitoring of the private equity portfolio, which has a target allocation of 5 percent. The $8 billion Oklahoma pension fund has already committed $107.5 million to several underlying funds, said Wilbanks.

The pension fund ended its relationship with Dallas-based Aldus Equity in May after the advisor’s founder, Saul Meyer, was charged in connection with an alleged kickback scheme involving the New York State Common Retirement Fund. Aldus Equity had managed a $450 million private equity fund-of-funds mandate for the pension fund.

Wilbanks told Buyouts in May that there were no allegations of impropriety on the part of Aldus Equity regarding the work it had done for the Oklahoma pension. The limited partner chose Aldus Equity to handle its first private equity mandate last year. In the fallout from the Aldus Equity scandal, the limited partner has adopted a policy requiring all of its vendors to fully disclose any use of placement agents and third-party marketers, said Wilbanks.

The LP’s private equity program is open to a variety of funds, including buyout and corporate restructuring; venture capital; mezzanine financing; special situations; and secondary vehicles.