New York State Teachers commits $260 million to private equity

New York State Teachers' Retirement System, Albany, made four commitments totaling $260 million during the quarter ended Dec. 31, according to a document prepared for its retirement board, which sets policy and oversees operations of the $88.1 billion pension fund.

According to the document prepared for the board's quarterly meeting on Thursday, the pension fund made the following commitments:

  • ABRY Senior Equity IV, for $75 million, managed by ABRY Partners, a private equity firm that specializes in investments in media, communications and information services companies. The pension fund has invested a total of $382.5 million in seven other ABRY funds, Heidi Brennan, a NYSTRS spokeswoman said in an e-mail.
  • ICG Europe Fund V, $75 million, managed by Intermediate Capital Group, an investment firm and money manager that provides mezzanine finance, leverage credit and partnership equity. This is a new relationship, Ms. Brennan wrote.
  • Rhone Partners IV, $60 million, managed by Rhone Capital, a private equity firm that specializes in mergers and acquisitions and leveraged buyouts. Rhone Partners IV focuses on middle-market European and transatlantic companies. This is a new relationship, according to Ms. Brennan.
  • Cerberus Institutional Real Estate Partners III, $50 million, managed by Cerberus Real Estate Capital Management, a unit of private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management. The pension fund has invested a total of $100 million in two other Cerberus real estate funds, Ms. Brennan wrote.

Separately, NYSTRS “will thoroughly review” a proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to create a flat-rate pension contribution system for employers, Ms. Brennan said Thursday.

“This review will be weighed along with the system's fiduciary responsibility to ensure the long-term soundness of the plan.”

The proposal requires approval by the state Legislature as well as support by the teachers' pension fund and state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, sole trustee of the $150.1 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany. However, Mr. DiNapoli recently said he has “serious concerns” about the plan, although he will withhold judgment pending a formal review.

Ms. Brennan didn't provide additional information or a timetable for the pension fund's decision.