State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Madison, committed $25 million to Baird Venture Partners Fund III, which has a Wisconsin and Midwest focus, said Vicki Hearing, public information officer of SWIB, which oversees $87 billion, including the $80 billion Wisconsin Retirement System fund.
It also committed $15 million for direct co-investments in portfolio companies with a Wisconsin emphasis that have been financed or will be financed by venture capital partnership funds in which SWIB has invested over the past nine years.
With the $40 million in total new commitments, SWIB reached its $200 million target allocation to Wisconsin-focused venture capital, an initiative it began in 1999.
The allocation emphasizes Wisconsin and the Midwest, although managers have discretion to diversify and invest nationwide, Ms. Hearing said. All the managers have a Wisconsin connection, with at least an office in the state, encouraging them to examine in-state investments more closely, said Ms. Hearing.
Funding for the new allocation will come from a liquidity fund created for the program, Ms. Hearing said. Until the commitments are drawn, the assets are being parked in SWIBs $840 million multiasset fund, managed by UBS and invested globally in equities and fixed income of developed and emerging markets, she said.
Hamilton Lane, the funds private equity consultant, assisted staff in the search.