It’s been quite a week. I find myself fully immersed in research and interviews about GPs holding certain assets longer than usual for traditional private equity. A few recent deals are helping prove the trend that is being spurred on, as sources tell me, in part by the high-priced market.
Silence: I’ve been meaning to talk about this article from earlier this week. LP reporters Teddy Grant and Justin Mitchell reached out to a bunch of public systems to get their takes on Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s probing of private equity investments related to the private prison industry. Check out the full story here.
Warren called out several firms for their exposure to the industry, including American Securities, Apax Partners, BlueMountain Capital, H.I.G. Capital and Platinum Equity. In a Sept. 30 letter, she asked for information involving the firms’ structure and finances related to the companies.
Almost all the public systems we reached out to declined to comment about the situation. New Mexico State Investment Council at the very least gave us an answer. “With these types of investments, we’re passive investors,” said Charles Wollmann, the sovereign fund’s spokesman said.
Other systems like public pensions in Pennsylvania, Kansas, Los Angeles, Michigan, Virginia, Washington State and New York City either declined to comment or didn’t bother to respond to our questions.
We did get a thoughful answer from Wisconsin. “Although we are passive investors in private equity funds, as part of our business relationships with our managers, we do discuss issues that can impact investment performance and, at times, items our constituents may bring to our attention,” State of Wisconsin Investment Board spokeswoman Vicki Hearing told us.