University of Michigan OKs $85 million to 3 alternatives managers

University of Michigan Board of Regents, Ann Arbor, approved investments and commitments totaling $85 million to three alternative investment managers.

At their Thursday meeting, regents accepted a recommendation from investment staff of the $8 billion endowment to allocate $50 million to Harvest Fund Advisors for investment in energy-related, publicly traded master limited partnerships, according to meeting documents prepared by Timothy P. Slottow, University of Michigan's executive vice president and CFO.

“Energy MLPs provide an interesting return profile, (combining) both a high current yield as well as continued prospective growth in response to newly developed supplies of oils and natural gas in the United States,” Mr. Slottow wrote in his memo to regents.

Also approved was a $20 million commitment to H. Barton Venture Select, a venture capital fund of funds. The fund is managed by Harris Barton, managing member, Harris Barton Asset Management. Mr. Barton will focus investments on early stage venture capital limited partners, Mr. Slottow told regents in his report.

UM's endowment staff also recommended and regents accepted a $15 million commitment to another energy-related fund, White Rock Oil and Gas Partners I, managed by White Rock Oil and Gas. The fund will invest in oil- and gas-producing properties across the U.S. in the price range of $5 million to $50 million. White Rock will work to improve production capacity and operational efficiencies at the production sites it purchases, Mr. Slottow's report said.

Separately, Mr. Slottow reported that assets of the endowment's long-term portfolio increased 4.1% to $8 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 30. About 51% of the portfolio was invested in illiquid alternative assets as of that date with the balance of the portfolio invested in marketable securities.