AK Teacher System Approves Private Equity, Real Estate

June 16, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Trustees for the $10-billion Arkansas Teacher Retirement System have approved $140 million in private equity and real estate investments.

According to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, the trustees signed off on a $50-million investment in a private equity fund called Vista Partners Equity III. The fund will be run by Vista Equity Partners LLC of San Francisco and will invest in software firms.

Also approved was a $50-million investment in a real estate fund called Heitman European Property Partners IV. The Heitman fund will be managed by Chicago-based Heitman Co. and invest in eastern Europe, the news report said.

Other real estate investments trustees approved included the ING Clarion Debt Opportunity Fund III ($30 million) and the New Boston Fund VII ($10 million). The ING fund will be managed by ING Clarion Capital of New York and invest in collateralized commercial mortgage-based securities, while the New Boston fund will be managed by New Boston Fund Inc. of Boston and invest in office, retail, industrial, and multifamily properties from New England to the Southeast.

The trustees also granted discretionary authority for the system’s timberland investment manager, Atlanta-based RMK Timberland, to invest up to $ 40 million in Arkansas’ timberlands through the end of this year. Executive Director Paul Doane said in a memo to trustees that the system lost out on two possible timber property purchases in the past year due partly to “the board’s somewhat protracted investment process.”