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Ill. Teachers Hires Emerging Manager Head

The $32 billion Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois recently hired an investment officer to administer its emerging managers program, which includes private equity as well as other asset classes.

Kenyatta Matheny started at his new post on May 17. He previously was with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, where he served as a financial markets manager of central bank services.One of his prior positions includes working as a senior associate-private equity investments for buyout shop Franklin Street Equity Partners.

Illinois Teachers’ created its emerging managers program in 2005 to commit a total of $500 million to new or expanding investment management firms—especially minority-owned, female-owned and Illinois-based companies. The program added private equity, real estate and absolute return asset classes in 2008.

So far in the private equity portion of the program, the plan sponsor has committed $25 million to Clearlake Capital Partners II, a fund of Clearlake Capital Partners, which takes control positions in small and mid-sized North American companies; up to $25 million to Maranon Mezzanine Fund LP, a vehicle of senior and sub-debt lender Maranon Capital; and $15 million to StarVest Partners II, run by StarVest Partners, a technology-focused, woman-owned venture capital shop. The goal is ultimately to have 10 percent of the emerging manager program allocated to private equity, as previously reported in Buyouts.

In other news, the pension fund is still in the process of looking for a new private equity consultant and expects the search to come to a close later this month. The current consultant, Pacific Corporate Group, was allowed to rebid for the position.

Also, the limited partner will soon begin a search for an adviser to help it start a private equity co-investment program. “No amount of money has been dedicated yet to the program,” a spokesperson told Buyouts. “That will be determined once an adviser is in place. We anticipate, however, that the program will start in September,” he added.

In addition, the pension recently committed $75 million to turnaround vehicle Littlejohn Fund IV LP.