Vermont considers commitments to Siguler Guff, HarbourVest

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Vermont Pension Investment Committee at its March meeting reviewed potential $150 million in private equity commitments for 2019.

VPIC is considering expanding its relationship with global private equity investment firm HarbourVest with a $100 million commitment to its Dover Street X fund.

HarbourVest has been the only fund that VPIC has invested in since the system started making PE commitments in 2012, board members said.

Vermont plans to add another fund in its portfolio by committing $50 million to Siguler Guff’s fourth small buyout opportunities fund, which commits to small buyout funds and invests directly in small companies.

If approved, the commitments would keep up with Vermont’s PE pacing, targeting 10 percent, or $450 million.

Board members said they would bring in HarbourVest and Siguler Guff to April’s board meeting to discuss a potential deal before official recommendations are made.

VPIC has committed $210 million in private equity in the past two years. In 2017, $5 million of the commitments were called, according to an unidentified board member, who raised concerns about VPIC making future commitments. No commitments were called in 2018.

“I am worried that we are going to overcommit and we’re going to have a market drawdown, and then everything is going to be called at the same time,” he said.

“I know you keep saying that we’re going to get great returns, but great returns on $5 million means nothing in the portfolio.”

Clarification: This story was updated to clarify that the board has not yet recommended commitments, and to provide information about which Siguler Guff fund Vermont is considering committing to.