Searches and Hires

Oregon picks Adrian Lee for currency overlay, commits $1.38 billion to five funds

Oregon Investment Council, Tigard, which runs the $74.9 billion Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund, Salem, hired Adrian Lee & Partners for a new $2 billion currency overlay program, and committed up to $500 million to BSF Style Advantage Fund, managed by BlackRock (BLK) spokesman James Sinks said.

The investment council also committed a total of up to $882 million to four alternative investment funds.

The council hired Adrian Lee & Partners to manage a $2 billion notional exposure currency management mandate. The $2 billion notional exposure represents 14% of the non-U.S. portion of the pension fund's $14 billion global public equity portfolio. The council established a currency overlay program in August.

The council also committed $500 million, made up of an initial $250 million investment with additional funding at staff's discretion, to the BSF Style Advantage Fund, a market-neutral, multiasset-style factor strategy. The 2-year old $3.6 billion fund attempts to capture a premium using value, carry, momentum, quality and low-volatility style factors. The strategy is implemented by taking long and short positions in liquid asset classes, including equities, bonds, currencies and commodities. This is a new relationship for the council.

Separately, the council committed up to €200 million ($232 million) to European private equity fund Novalpina Capital Partners I, the first fund raised by new manager Novalpina Capital, which was founded by former TPG executives Stephen Peel and Stefan Kowski and former Platinum Equity executive Bastian Lueken. The fund will target a concentrated portfolio of seven to nine investments of €75 million to €200 million in companies with enterprise values of €200 million to €500 million. The firm plans to use "cutting edge data science techniques to help it build value in the companies," said a memo to the council. The fund's target is €1 billion with a €75 million general partner commitment.

The council also committed $250 million to buyout fund Francisco Partners V; $250 million to NGP Natural Resources XII, managed by NGP Energy Capital Management; and $150 million to GTCR Fund XII, a North American middle-market buyout fund. The council has invested with all of the managers in the past.

The council also changed benchmarks of four of its equity mandates. The $505.2 million Wellington U.S. small-cap portfolio's benchmark was changed to the Russell Micro Cap index from the Russell 2000 index. Westwood Global Investment's $328 million emerging markets equity portfolio was switched to MSCI Emerging Markets IMI Net from MSCI Emerging Markets Net. William Blair & Co.'s $232.6 million emerging markets equity portfolio was switched to the MSCI Emerging Markets Growth Net from the MSCI Emerging Markets Net and William Blair's $152 million emerging markets small-cap portfolio benchmark was switched to the MSCI Emerging Markets Small Cap Growth Net from MSCI Emerging Markets Small Cap Net. The changes were made following a public equity benchmark study by general investment consultant Callan Associates.