Pantheon Has $2B For Private Equity Funds

Firm: Pantheon Ventures

Fund: Pantheon USA Fund VII

Target: $2B

Amount Raised: $2B

Pantheon Ventures has reached the $2 billion target on its seventh diversified fund of funds, but it remains open, said a person familiar with the process. A representative in the London-based firm’s only U.S. office, in San Francisco, declined comment.

Among limited partners in Pantheon USA Fund VII is the San Jose Federated City Employees’ Retirement System, which announced a $40 million commitment to the fund this fall. In December, Kern County Employees’ Retirement Association committed $50 million to the fund.

Pantheon Ventures has backed a number of mid-market funds in the past, both in the United States and Europe. Stateside, it has backed Pfingsten Partners’ third fund, which raised $284 million in 2004, and Sterling Investment Partners‘s $545 million Sterling Investment Partners II in 2005.

Abroad, Pantheon Ventures has recently committed to: AtriA Capital Partenaires’s third fund, which garnered €300 million in capital commitments to back mid-market French companies; HgCapital‘s £950 HgCapital 5, which focuses on European buyouts; Baring Private Equity Partners‘s $490 million Baring Asia Private Equity Fund III; and London-based Vision Capital’s sixth fund, which had $450 million in commitments and will hunt mostly for European deals.

Former GT Management investment manager Rhoddy Swire founded Pantheon Ventures in 1982 in London with three employees. It now has over 70 employees in its five offices, which also include Sydney, Brussels and Hong Kong.

In 2004, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. subsidiary Russell Investment Group bought Pantheon Ventures. Pantheon Ventures then took over Russell’s private equity fund-of-funds operations.

With a fund this size, Pantheon Ventures further establishes itself as one of the top private equity funds of funds raisers. Another giant, Boston-based HarbourVest Partners, is expected to soon close on at least $5 billion for its eighth U.S.-focused fund of funds.—M.C.