Connecticut Retirement Plans commits $200 million, hires investment consultant

Connecticut Retirement Plans & Trust Funds, Hartford, committed a total of $200 million to private equity and real estate funds, and hired a new general investment consultant, said Denise L. Nappier, state treasurer and principal fiduciary of the $31.5 billion pension fund.

At the investment advisory council meeting Wednesday, Ms. Nappier announced a commitment of up to $150 million to Apollo Investment Fund IX, a buyout fund managed by Apollo Global Management focused on investing in high-quality companies in North America and Western Europe at multiples that are trading below market value. The pension fund previously committed to Apollo Investment Fund VIII.

Ms. Nappier also decided to make a commitment of up to $50 million to Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe V, a real estate fund managed by Blackstone Group that will focus on large, complex property-related transactions in Europe, including transitional city center office assets. The pension fund previously committed to Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe III.

The commitments are contingent upon successful negotiation of the contract terms and partnership documents.

In addition, Meketa Investment Group has been selected as general investment consultant for the pension fund.

Meketa will replace incumbent Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting, which has served as CRPTF's investment consultant since 2011. Aon Hewitt will continue to serve as the investment consultant for the $3.2 billion Connecticut Higher Education Trust, Connecticut's 529 college savings program. Aon Hewitt spokeswoman MacKenzie Lucas could not be reached for comment.

In addition to Meketa and Aon Hewitt, Verus was the other finalist.

Meketa is expected to begin advising the pension fund in July, subject to successful contract negotiations.

Also at the meeting, Ms. Nappier announced she is considering an investment of up to $50 million in Altaris Health Partners IV, a buyout fund managed by Altaris Capital Partners that focuses on investments in companies with potential for growth, operating across the health-care industry, including pharmaceutical, medical devices and diagnosis. The fund also will invest in leveraged buyout, corporate carve-out and growth equity instruments. CRPTF previously committed to Altaris Health Partners I, II and III.

Ms. Nappier is also considering committing up to $75 million to H/2 Special Opportunities Fund IV, a U.S. high-return commercial real estate debt fund managed by H/2 Capital Partners that will primarily focus on special situation credit investments in commercial real estate.