Searches and Hires

Washington State Investment Board commits $2.1 billion to private equity

Washington State Investment Board, Olympia, made new private equity commitments totaling up to $2.1 billion, spokeswoman Tish Day said in an email.

In private equity, the board disclosed staff commitments of up to $750 million each to Advent Global Private Equity IX, a buyout fund managed by Advent International, and Blackstone Capital Partners VIII, a buyout fund managed by Blackstone Group; and up to $400 million to TA XIII, a middle-market growth equity fund managed by TA Associates.

The board has made commitments to six prior Advent funds, most recently committing up to $600 million to Advent Global Private Equity VIII in 2015. The board's most recent commitments to Blackstone and TA Associates, respectively, were commitments of up to $200 million to Blackstone Capital Partners Asia Fund I in 2018 and up to $250 million to TA XII in 2015.

Also in private equity, the board at its April 18 meeting approved a commitment of up to $200 million to Searchlight Capital III, a buyout fund managed by Searchlight Capital Partners. It is a new manager for the board.

Consultant Hamilton Lane assisted with the private equity commitments.

As of Dec. 31, the actual allocation to private equity was 22.1%.

Separately, the board at its April 18 meeting also approved the restructuring of its $500 million commitment to Geronimo Renewable Infrastructure Partners, a fund managed by renewable energy developer Geronimo Energy. The board originally committed $300 million to the fund in December 2017 and made a $200 million follow-on commitment at its Feb. 21 meeting this year.

The restructuring allows the board to form a new partnership with National Grid, which announced March 7 its agreement to acquire Geronimo for $100 million, with a potential for additional payments based on the development of Geronimo's project pipeline.

The commitment to the North American renewable energy fund falls within the tangible assets allocation, which was 4.8% as of Dec. 31.

The Washington State Investment Board oversees $128.1 billion in assets, including $99.4 billion in defined benefit plan assets.