NY Common Finally Picks Emerging Manager Advisors

The $154 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund has concluded its long search for managers of its private equity emerging manager program.

The state plans to allocate $350 million to Parish Capital Advisors, $250 million of which will be for co-investment opportunities and $100 million for fund investments. Bank of America’s Banc of America Capital Access Funds will receive another $200 million for fund investments, according to Robert Whalen, spokesperson.

Chapel Hill, N.C.-based Parish Capital Advisors manages funds of funds that invest in early-stage venture capital funds and small-market to mid-market buyout funds, committing mostly to experienced, small and niche managers. Founded in 2003, Parish Capital opened an office in London in 2006.

Chicago-based Banc of America Capital Access Funds sponsors funds of funds focused on underserved U.S. markets, investing in funds targeting companies owned, managed by or targeted to women or ethnic minorities; companies in poor and moderate-income areas; and companies in urban or rural areas with limited access to investment capital. The portfolio includes media and entertainment, consumer products and retail, manufacturing and distribution, technology and telecom, business and financial services, and health care. The firm seeks to invest between $5 million and $25 million per transaction and shies away from funds with less than $50 million. It commits to venture, growth, mezzanine and buyout funds.

New York State Common Retirement Fund began its formal emerging manager private equity program in 2005. The program targets funds of less than $750 million, as well as those owned by women and minority managers. The state now has more than $400 million invested via the program. The pension fund expects to allocate an additional $600 million over the next several years to emerging managers.

The RFP for the emerging managers assignment was issued in November 2007, with responses due in January 2008. Originally a decision was expected by the end of the summer.