Cook County chooses private equity fund of funds, emerging markets equity

Cook County Annuity & Benefit Fund, Chicago, committed $150 million to Mesirow Financial Private Equity to manage in a fund of funds, confirmed Nickol Hackett, chief investment officer and executive director, in an e-mail

The $8 billion pension fund also hired Wells Capital Management to run $100 million in active emerging markets equity. Funding is coming from a Russell private equity ETF.

Investment consultant Callan Associates assisted.

The private equity fund of funds RFP was issued in May; the emerging markets RFP, July.

The pension fund has a target allocation of 20% international equity, including emerging markets, and 6% private equity.

Separately, the board hired Buck Consultants to provide actuarial services, replacing Goldstein & Associates.