UK’s USS pension fund expands private equity team

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), Britain’s second-largest pension fund, has added two analysts to its private equity team as it looks to increase its allocation to alternative assets.

USS has appointed former ABN Amro analyst Sweta Chattopadhyay to focus on direct investment and co-investment, while Tim Tyshing, who joins from ANZ Banking Group, will assist in the evaluation of private equity and infrastructure funds, the fund said.

“The current financial crisis presents us with an opportunity to further expand our investment team and we expect to make a number of additional hires within all areas of alternatives over the next 12 months,” said head of alternative assets Mike Powell.

USS, which manages more than £25bn (US$38.6bn) for some 250,000 members, has around seven percent invested in alternatives and is targeting a 20% allocation over the medium term.

Since launching its private equity programme in 2006, USS has committed £2.8bn to private equity funds and has made a number of direct and co-investments.