UN Inches Closer To $1B Allocation To PE

The United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund has issued an RFP for consultants to provide advisory services on the implementation of private equity and hedge funds-of-funds programs. Each sector’s allocation will be roughly $1 billion, or about 3 percent of the $29 billion in assets currently held by the retirement system.

The request for proposals went only to bidders that responded to a “request for an expression of interest” last year. The limited partner does not disclose information on bidders, but Arjuna Kadirgamar, procurement officer of the United Nations Procurement Service, explained that invited bidders now have four weeks to respond. The whole process, including technical evaluation, financial evaluation, due diligence, internal review and contract negotiations could take up to four months.

The consultant’s duties will include the analysis, selection, placement and monitoring of funds. The pension fund plans to either pick two consultants to advise it on each asset class separately, or one consultant may be chosen to cover both.

The pension fund’s first-ever asset-liability management study was conducted by Pension Consulting Alliance in 2007. The study recommended a maximum allocation of 3 percent each to private equity and hedge funds of funds.

The private equity program will likely include buyout, venture capital, mezzanine, restructuring and distressed investment strategies and will have a significant global focus.

The United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1949 to provide retirement, death, disability and related benefits for staff of the United Nations and the other organizations admitted to membership in the fund.