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Illinois Teachers’ surges into 2015 with $905 mln of commitments

  • $44.7 bln pension backs Blackstone, Carlyle, Lone Star 
  • PE commitments focus on Asia, venture funds
  • Illinois Teachers’ awards $50 mln through emerging managers program

Spokesman Dave Urbanek attributed the size and scale of recent commitment activity to the “the timing of various opportunities and the availability to get them to the board quickly.”

“A lot of things came together quickly,” he said.

The $44.7 billion retirement system expanded its private equity portfolio’s international footprint at its Feb. 19 meeting, allocating up to $75 million to Hong Kong-based RRJ Capital and up to $30 million to The Carlyle Group’s third Japan-focused fund, according to the meeting summary. Last year, Teachers’ Retirement System built up its Asian exposure with commitments to vehicles managed by Baring Private Equity Asia and Asia Alternatives.

In addition to its allocation to Asian private equity strategies, Teachers’ Retirement System committed up to $50 million each to venture funds Institutional Venture Partners XV and New Enterprise Associates XV, Urbanek said. (The retirement system counts commitments to venture funds toward its private equity allocation.)

Illinois Teachers’ largest commitments went to a pair of real estate funds managed by the Blackstone Group and Lone Star Funds. The retirement system re-upped as much as $300 million each to Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII and Lone Star Real Estate IV.

Meanwhile, Teachers’ Retirement System committed up to $50 million to Chicago-based private debt manager Monroe Capital’s second private credit fund through its global fixed income portfolio. It also awarded $50 million to hedge fund Quadratic Capital through its emerging manager program.

Teachers’ Retirement System had an 11.4 percent allocation to private equity as of Sept. 30, according to its website. The $5.2 billion portfolio had generated a 10-year return of 15.2 percent as of the same date.