Pennsylvania Fires Up Power Pledge

The Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System recently pledged up to $25 million to Oaktree Power Opportunities Fund III, earmarked for controlling equity investments in companies that provide equipment, software and services aiding in the generation, transmission, distribution, marketing, trading and consumption of power.

Oaktree Capital Management, Los Angeles, is seeking $800 million for the fund, a follow-up to OCM/GFI Power Opportunities Fund II, which closed in September 2005 with $1 billion, including a $25 million commitment from the Pennsylvania retirement system. According to data from the University of Texas Investment Management Co., as of Nov. 30, 2009 Fund II had generated an IRR of 59.39 percent.

Along with Pennsylvania and UTIMCO, Oaktree’s backers have included Australia Post Superannuation Scheme, Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System, the UCLA Foundation.

The $23.7 billion pension fund recently reduced its private equity target allocation to 12 percent from 14 percent; its actual allocation stood at 22.4 percent, as of Sept. 30, 2009.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is representing Oaktree Capital in the formation of Oaktree Power Opportunities Fund III.