NY State Retirement Fund Making Commitments to Private Equity

March 2, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The New York State Common Retirement Fund invested $850 million in real estate and private equity funds in January.

A report released by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said the fund placed $550 million in private equity investments and $300 million in real estate, according to a Dow Jones News report. The new private equity commitments were made through three funds of funds: $250 million and $100 million, respectively, were placed with two funds managed by Parish Capital Advisors, and $200 million was placed with a fund managed by an affiliate of Bank of America Corp.

The $300 million real estate commitment was invested with a fund managed by Franklin Templeton.

The news report noted that public pension plans have continued to invest in private equity and real estate over the past 12 months, although both asset classes have been hit hard by the economic downturn. Private equity investments accounted for 6.5%, and real estate investments accounted for 4.4%, of the New York fund’s total portfolio at the end of last fiscal year.

New York State operates the third-largest pension fund in the U.S., covering more than a million state and local government employees, retirees, and beneficiaries.