Wisconsin makes $620m in PE commitments in 2019 Q4

The pension invested in recent funds from Cortec Group, Leonard Green & Partners and Volition, among others.

State of Wisconsin Investment Board conducted its Tuesday meeting via teleconference in light of the crisis over coronavirus, according to a message posted on its website.

The meeting’s book disclosed almost $620 million in private equity commitments for 2019 Q4 as well as more than $100 million in co-investments.

The private equity commitments included:

  • $50 million to Cortec Group Fund VII, managed by Cortec Group, which closed in November at $2.1 billion, as Buyouts reported;
  • $250 million to Leonard Green & Partners‘ Green Equity Investors VIII and $50 million to Jade Equity Investors, both of which closed last fall on $14.75 billion total, according to sister title PE Hub;
  • €150 million ($164.8 million) to Saros Investments, a fund managed by Providence Strategic Growth Capital, according to a Form D, which is in turn an affiliate of Providence Equity Partners;
  • $50 million to Shamrock Capital Content Fund II, managed by Shamrock Capital Advisers and focused on intellectual property rights, according to the firm’s website;
  • $25 million to Turn/River Capital IV, a $420 million fund managed by Turn/River Capital which closed in February, according to the firm’s website;
  • $20 million to Volition IV and $10 million to Volition Select Fund I, managed by Volition Capital and which both closed in December at $400 million and $200 million, respectively, according to the firm’s website.

Wisconsin also made more than $100 million in co-investments in financial services, industrials and discretionary consumer goods, among others. It also made a $10.4 million private debt investment in an unnamed Wisconsin manufacturing company.

Private equity performance

Wisconsin Retirement System’s private equity returns for the 2019 calendar year as well the fourth quarter were above benchmarks across one year, five-year and 10-year durations, according to a report from its meeting schedule for Tuesday.

Returns were just over 10 percent over one year, 12.14 percent over five years and 13 percent over 10 years, net of fees.

As of December 31, Wisconsin had $128.86 billion in total assets under management. Wisconsin’s assets are split into a Core Trust Fund and a Veterans Trust Fund, in addition to other holdings. As of December 31, the Core Trust Fund was valued at $107.8 billion and the Veterans Trust Fund was valued at $8.69 billion.

Wisconsin’s private equity holdings were valued at $10 billion, making up 9.3 percent of the portfolio.

Action Item: read the public book for Wisconsin’s March 17 meeting here.