Pennsylvania Public School Employees doles out up to $654 million

Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement, Harrisburg, made up to $654 million in new commitments, confirmed spokeswoman Evelyn Tatkovski.

The $49.8 billion pension fund committed $100 million to Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies II, a value-added real estate debt fund. PSERS previously committed up to $200 million to Blackstone Real Estate Partners V in January 2006, up to $400 million to Blackstone Real Estate Partners VI in January 2007, up to $300 million to Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII in June 2011, and up to €200 million ($269 million) to Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe III in March 2008.

Also, the pension fund committed up to $100 million each to Morgan Stanley (MS) Private Equity Asia IV, a private equity fund that invests in consumer products, industrial products, financial services and health care, primarily in China and South Korea, and Paramount Group Real Estate Fund VII, a value-added real estate fund. Both are first-time commitments.

The pension fund also committed €100 million to Triton IV, Triton Advisers' a private equity fund focusing on middle-market, out of favor or underresourced businesses in the industrial, business services and consumer sectors, primarily in German-speaking and Nordic countries. It is a first-time commitment.

Also, the pension fund invested $100 million with hedge fund Ellis Lake Domestic Fund, managed by Ellis Lake Capital and committed up to £75 million ($119 million) to HgCapital 7, an international private equity fund focusing on middle-market investments in the U.K., Germany, Scandinavia and the Benelux region. Both are first-time commitments.

Separately, the pension fund hired SB & Co. to conduct a financial audit for fiscal years 2013 and 2014, with possible one-year contract renewals for fiscal years 2015 through 2017. An RFP was issued in December.

Current auditor CliftonLarsonAllen was not eligible to rebid because the firm has held the contract twice, the limit the pension fund allows for auditing firms.

The pension fund also invested an additional $100 million in its Private Markets and Real Estate In-House Co-Investment and Secondary Program. The board originally invested $100 million in the program in January 2012.