Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, Phoenix, committed up to $40 million to West Face Capital for its Long-Term Opportunities Global Master hedge fund, confirmed James Hacking, administrator of the $6.6 billion system.
Mr. Hacking said West Face runs a deep value, event-driven hedge fund that focuses primarily on Canadian companies. Funding will come from returns from the system's existing credit opportunities investments, which totaled $641 million as of Dec. 31.
“This is going to be a diversification for our credit opportunities exposure,” he said.
Also, up to $40 million was committed to EIF Management's United States Power Fund IV. The fund invests in power-generating assets and transmission lines, Mr. Hacking said.
The EIF commitment comes from the system's $366 million real assets allocation.
“The real assets class is an alternative to equities,” Mr. Hacking said.
Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee, committed $100 million to CarVal Investors Credit Value Fund A and $75 million to TPG Airline Credit Opportunity Fund II, according to John Kuczwanski, communications manager.
The board, which oversees $152.2 billion in assets, is also considering commitments to Colony Distressed Credit Fund II and Blackstone's GSO Capital Opportunities II fund. The board hasn't determined an allocation to the two funds or a time frame for a decision.
Henkel AG & Co., Duesseldorf, Germany, hired Mercer as actuary for all of its defined benefit pension plans globally, confirmed spokes-man Wulf Klueppelholz.
It is the company's first move to a single actuarial provider, Mr. Klueppelholz said. He declined to name the previous providers.
“Through this appointment, Henkel will achieve a more standardized and streamlined approach, together with greater transparency for its defined benefit schemes across the world,” Giles Archibald, Mercer senior actuary and consultant, said in a Mercer news release.
The company's German and U.K. pension funds have e1.7 billion ($2.3 billion) and £90 million ($143 million), respectively, according to Pension Funds and Their Advisers, while its U.S. fund has $1.1 million, according to the Money Market Directory of Pension Funds and Their Investment Managers 2008.
Honda Group U.K. Pension Scheme, Slough, England, hired Pension Insurance Corp. for a £7 million ($11 million) bulk annuity buyout from a portion of its £700 million plan, confirmed Jeremy Apfel, PIC spokesman.
The part of the plan carved out was the Honda Performance Development portion, which includes both retirees and deferred plan members, according to a PIC news release. Honda made an additional payment to the fund to complete the buyout, but Mr. Apfel did not have information on the size of the contribution.
A call to Honda was not returned by press time.
Knox County Retirement and Pension Board, Knoxville, Tenn., hired Chicago Equity Partners to run $32 million in active core fixed income, confirmed Kim Bennett, executive director of the $250 million system.
At least 70% of the portfolio will be domestic and up to 30% will be international, Ms. Bennett said in a telephone interview.
Funding came from terminating BlackRock, which ran the assets in a similar style but was dropped for personnel changes and because of the manager's “philosophy,” Ms. Bennett said. She would not elaborate.
BlackRock spokeswoman Jessica Greaney declined comment.
The A$5.7 billion (US$5.64 billion) MTAA Super, Canberra, signed incumbent investment consultant Access Capital Advisers to a five-year contract, according to Investment magazine, Sydney.
In an Access CA announcement, the firm said it would have responsibility for advising MTAA Super on asset allocation, currency hedging, manager configuration for listed asset classes, and designing and monitoring liquidity and risk controls across alternative assets.
Also, MTAA Super's target-return investment option, which is near 100% invested in illiquid private equity and infrastructure assets, will be closed to new investments starting in April, in accordance with a recent paper on best practices in liquidity risk management from the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia.
NEST Corp., London, hired three passive managers to provide investment components of its annual target-date default options, confirmed spokeswoman Heather Tilston.
BlackRock will run cash and diversified beta strategies with its Aquila Cash and Aquila Life Market Advantage funds, respectively.
State Street Global Advisors will manage passive U.K. government bonds and index-linked U.K. government bonds with its UK Conventional Gilts All Stocks Index and State Street UK Index Linked Gilts Over 5 Years Index funds, respectively.
UBS Global Asset Management will handle passive global equities in its UBS Life World Equity Tracker, which uses the FTSE All-World Developed index as its benchmark.
NEST Corp. will oversee administration and management of the National Employment Savings Trust, a nationwide defined contribution plan aimed at middle- to low-income workers who do not already have an employment-based retirement plan. The plan is expected to be introduced this spring.
New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, invested a total of $55 million in two private equity funds, $40 million in JMI Equity Fund VII and $15 million in Capital Alliance Private Equity III, according to a report Jan. 31 by Thomas P. DiNapoli, state comptroller and the $132.8 billion fund's sole trustee.
Also, the fund added $90 million to Rock Creek Empire Fund, an emerging manager hedge fund of funds managed by existing manager Rock Creek Group.
Ohio School Employees Retirement System, Columbus, committed up to $50 million to Coller International Partners VI, spokesman Tim Barbour said in an e-mailed response to questions.
The $10 billion system invested $40 million in Coller International Partners V in 2006.
Oregon Investment Council, Tigard, which oversees the $56.7 billion Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund, Salem, committed $525 million to KKR North American XI, a private equity fund with an $8 billion to $10 billion target, according to council spokesman James Sinks.
Mr. Sinks said $500 million of the commitment comes from Oregon PERF and $25 million from the $1.1 billion Oregon Common School Fund, Salem.
Before making the commitment, council officials negotiated lower fees with KKR that include distributing 100% of deal fees to the investor, Mr. Sinks said. Typically, transaction fees are split between investors and the private equity manager. Council officials estimate this will save the state at least $2 million, he said.
The lower transaction fees were offered by KKR in exchange for higher management fees, said a source familiar with the terms of the Oregon deal.
Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System, Harrisburg, committed up to $200 million to Baring Asia Private Equity Fund V, up to $150 million to CS Strategic Partners V, and up to $100 million to Coller International Partners VI, confirmed spokeswoman Evelyn Tatkovski.
The $43.2 billion system has previously committed up to $125 million and $300 million, respectively, to Baring Asia Private Equity Fund III and IV in 2005 and 2007 and also committed to all four previous CS Strategic Partners funds. The amount committed to the previous CS funds could not be learned by press time. This is the system's first commitment to a Coller Capital Fund, according to Ms. Tatkovski.
Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System, Harrisburg, committed up to $30 million to Berkshire Fund VIII and up to $20 million to Insight Venture Partners VII, according to a news release. Both are private equity funds.
The $24.8 billion system had first invested with Berkshire Partners in 2002, committing $20 million to Fund VI, Pamela Hile, system spokeswoman, wrote in an e-mailed response to questions. A follow-on commitment of $32 million was made in 2006 to Fund VII. A $30 million commitment to Insight Venture Partners Fund VI was made in 2007.
San Bernardino County (Calif.) Employees' Retirement Association committed $20 million to Industry Ventures VI, a venture capital fund, Nicole Dailey, communications officer for the $5.7 billion association, wrote in an e-mailed response to questions.
The association also made a £3 million ($4.8 million) investment in Apollo European Principal Finance Fund's Webb VIII Co-Investment. Webb VIII is a co-investment in U.K.-based residential loans, she stated. Ms. Dailey declined to provide further purchase details.
The association also ratified Invesco as the new general partner for the AIG Asian Real Estate Partners II fund. San Bernardino previously made a $20 million commitment to the fund. On Dec. 31, Invesco Real Estate bought AIG Global Real Estate Investment's $5.4 billion Asian real estate investment business, according to Invesco's earnings statement released Jan. 27.
Western Union Financial Services Inc. Pension Plan, Englewood, Colo., hired Capital Innovations to manage a $59 million timber portfolio, said Michael Underhill, chief investment officer of Capital Innovations, in a telephone interview.
The pension plan had a total of $275.8 million as of Dec. 31, 2009, in two frozen defined benefit plans, according to the company's most recent 10-K filing.
Stephen Gawlick, manager of corporate communications for Western Union, was unable to obtain answers to questions by press time.