Penn. SERS Commits $110M

The Keystone State continued its tradition of committing to PE funds. The board of the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) met in late October and authorized $110 million to be invested in two PE funds.

SERS has been a consistent investor in private equity with almost $3.5 billion invested in PE, according to its most recently available quarterly report. At its previous board meeting in September, the pension system approved $320 million in further commitments to private equity funds.

At the October meeting, the pension system authorized a $50 million commitment to Highland Capital VII, the latest fund being raised by Lexington, Mass.-based venture firm Highland Capital Partners. Highland raised its first fund in 1988 and closed its most recent vehicle, Highland Capital VI, in 2001 with $800 million. Highland led what is believed to be the largest-ever Series A funding round for a mobile virtual network operator in the $67 million financing of Los Angeles-based Amp’d Mobile (see PE Week, August 15, 2005).

The SERS board also authorized up to $60 million for Nordic Capital VI, the latest fund from Stockholm, Sweden-based buyout firm Nordic Capital. Nordic’s last fund, Nordic Capital V, closed in 2003 with more than $1.8 billion in commitments. The firm was founded in 1989 and has satellite offices in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Helsinki, Finland.

The two commitments were follow-on investments. SERS’ relationship with both firms is managed through Cambridge Associates.

SERS manages about $27 billion in assets.