Oregon Up $4B Investing In PE Instead Of Stocks

  • Early supporter of private equity
  • PE return 11.35%, vs. 4.71% for S&P
  • A mix of buyout and venture investments

As one of the first public pension funds to commit to private equity, Oregon continues singing the praises of the asset class.

In an article for the state newspaper the Oregonian Oregon Investment Council state treasurer Ted Wheeler and chair Keith Larson stated private equity has been a top performer in the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund since 1981.

And the article stressed that had Oregon not been invested in private equity over the past decade and had backed the stock market instead – the pension fund would have lost out on an estimated $4 billion, that is $400 million less in earnings per year.

For the past decade, the time-weighted annual return for Oregon’s private equity investments was 11.35 percent, versus 4.71 percent for the S&P 500.

Oregon is an investor in funds managed by private equity veterans such as The Blackstone Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and TPG Capital.

See the adjacent table for a look at the top performers in Oregon’s portfolio contributing to the pension fund’s private equity performance to date.

The top spot is taken by a global 1996 vintage U.S.-based buyout fund, but is closely followed by a U.S.-based venture fund and another U.S.-based venture fund coming in third.

Oregon has a strong exposure to European buyouts with two European offerings featuring in this top ten. This year, Oregon has also made a $150.4 million commitment to European powerhouse Apax Partners’s Apax Europe VIII fund.

(Angela Sormani is a special correspondent for Buyouts in London.)