Late Stage & Secondary Funds Strong Suit For San Francisco Pension Fund’s Venture Portfolio

The San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System has a balanced approach to venture investing with commitments spread among early stage, later stage and other funds.

But the pension fund’s recent later stage and secondary investments appear to be its strong suits, according to a peHUB analysis of its June 2011 public portfolio report.

SFERS had 3.8% of its $13 billion portfolio in venture capital as of the end of fiscal 2010, with commitments of $899 million to 45 funds since the start of 2000. Of these, 15 are early stage, eight are later and 20 qualify as having a balanced or generalist’s approach, according to the analysis. Two are secondary fund investments. (SFERS also has 10 funds of funds investments, which are not added to the venture commitments.)

The LP doesn’t release IRRs for funds with vintages more recent than 2005. But returns multiples for these investments offer an indication of how they are doing so far, and the average multiples are higher for the later stage and secondary commitments.

Median IRRs also are far better for the later and secondary fund investments made in 2005 or before. The medians for the early and balanced funds are -1.56% and -0.7%, respectively, while they are 3.38% and 25.5% for the later and secondary funds.

Last week, we published a slideshow with SFERS’s early stage funds. This week, we show you the late and secondary funds with their commitment levels, investment multiples and IRRs, where available. The are presented chronologically. An investment multiple above 1 suggests a fund is on its way to return more than contributed capital while a multiple below 1 suggests the opposite.

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