New Mexico Educational Retirement Board selects BlackRock, Gramercy funds

New Mexico Educational Retirement Board, Santa Fe, committed $100 million to private equity co-investment fund BlackRock (BLK)/ERB Co-investment Fund II and an additional $50 million to distressed debt fund Gramercy Distressed Opportunities Fund II, said Bob Jacksha, chief investment officer for the $10 billion pension fund in an e-mail.

The board made an earlier commitment to BlackRock/ERB Co-Investment Fund I. Both vehicles co-invest alongside private equity funds, and NMERB is the sole limited partner in both funds.

Separately, NMERB extended the contract of Real Asset Portfolio Management, its real estate and natural resources consultant, for two years until April 2015.

The pension fund is also conducting an invitation-only search for a developed markets international equity manager. The contract with Pyramis Global Advisers, which manages $245 million in a similar strategy, expires April 25. Due to the short timeframe, the pension fund's general investment consultant, NEPC, is conducting an abbreviated search using a shortlist. No RFP will be issued. Finalists will be invited to appear at the next investment committee meeting on March 28.

In other action, the board revised its investment policy to include energy, mining and minerals as eligible investments in its natural resources allocation.