New Mexico State Investment Council, Santa Fe, is negotiating with 12 hedge fund-of-funds managers, with which it plans to invest a total of $500 million after July 1, said Charles Wollman, public information officer for the $12 billion fund. That's when a state law goes into effect that will allow the council to increase its hedge fund investment to more than $500 million from $350 million Mr. Wollman would not identify the firms, and the amount of each commitment has not yet been determined. The state law substituted the prudent investor rule for a legal list of allowable investments.
In view of the law change, New England Pension Consulting is conducting an asset-liability study to determine a new asset allocation for the fund. Results should be due in about three months, Mr. Wollman said.
Separately, the council committed $20 million each to international mezzanine funds St. Cloud Capital Partners II and Falcon Mezzanine II, pending contract negotiations. Funding will come from cash. The council also committed $15 million to early stage venture capital funds Village Ventures II and ITU Ventures III, which will create a $15 million sidecar fund, ITU Ventures New Mexico. Funding came from the Council's $341 million New Mexico venture capital program, through which the council invests in New Mexico businesses, Mr. Wollman said.
The council will also invest $15 million in the television series "Wildfire" for ABC Family network and $15 million in the Mobius Entertainment movie "Border Town," starring Jennifer Lopez, Martin Sheen and Antonio Banderas. A new state law doubled the amount the $4 billion Severance Tax Permanent Fund can invest in television shows and movies to 5% of assets from 2.5%; the minimum project limit was raised to $15 million from $7.5 million.