State of Wisconsin goes big on co-invest in Q1

  • Wisconsin commits $68 mln to co-investments in Q1
  • Backs new Providence flagship for $100 mln
  • Portfolio nets 9.8 pct annualized return on 10-year basis

State of Wisconsin Investment Board inked $431 million of new commitments to private equity in the first quarter, including $68 million of co-investments, documents released in advance of its April 17-18 meeting show.

Wisconsin distributed the co-investment capital across four deals, two in the industrial sector and two in healthcare and software. The $108.6 billion public-pension system did not disclose the companies or general partners who sourced the deals.

Wisconsin’s co-investment platform has grown to more than $255 million since it launched the program in 2014. The portfolio was generating a 9 percent annualized return on a three-year basis as of Feb. 28, the meeting materials say.

In addition to its co-investments, Wisconsin committed $100 million to Providence Equity Partners’ new flagship fund. The target of Providence Equity Partners VIII was not disclosed. The firm closed its previous fund on a reduced target of $5 billion in 2013, according to reports.

Providence VII was netting an 11.34 percent internal rate of return and 1.2x multiple as of Sept. 30, Washington State Investment Board documents say.

Wisconsin also allocated $100 million to Stone Point Capital’s seventh Trident fund, according to meeting materials. The firm set a $5.25 billion target for Trident VII.

Wisconsin’s three remaining fund commitments went to funds managed by HgCapitalRCP Advisors and WP Global Partners, according to meeting materials.

The retirement system followed up on previously reported plans to invest in small and mid-market strategies by allocating $75 million to RCP Small and Emerging Fund, the fund-of-funds manager’s debut vehicle for young firms and small-market strategies. The firm had raised $79 million as of mid-February, Buyouts reported earlier this year.

The system was slotted $50 million in HgCapital 8, which held a final close on 2.5 billion pounds ($3.14 billion) in February. Its $43 million allocation to WP Global Partners, which specializes in bespoke strategies for individual institutional investors, went to a North American PE fund.

Wisconsin valued its PE portfolio at $6.3 billion as of Feb. 28. The portfolio has delivered a 10-year annualized return of 9.8 percent, surpassing its benchmark by 1.5 percentage points.

Action Item: For more information on Wisconsin’s investment portfolio, visit