Fund performance: Mid-life funds lose ground amid venture’s upswing

Venture’s improving fortunes aren’t evenly distributed. This is clearly the case for mid-life funds in the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund portfolio.

More of OPERF’s mid-life funds declined than advanced in the year ended in March 2015. It is something of a surprise given the prevalence of up rounds and high valuations during the period. What’s more, some of those that declined fell hard, according to a recent portfolio report.

The state pension fund manager holds 18 venture funds and funds of funds with vintages of 2007 to 2010. For the most part, the portfolio is performing well. All but one sported a positive IRR as of March 2015, according to the report.

The leader of the pack was the Union Square Ventures Opportunity Fund from 2010, which had an IRR of 72.1 percent in March 2015. That is up from 68.5 percent a year earlier in March 2014.

Several other portfolio leaders didn’t fare as well. OrbiMed Private Investments IV saw its IRR slip to 49.7 percent in March 2015 from 67.5 percent a year earlier. Union Square Ventures 2008 also saw a whittling down of its IRR to 30.5 percent from 38.8 percent over the 12-month period.

Another investment losing ground was the fund of funds Pathway Private Equity Fund III-B circa 2008, which saw its internal rate of return fall to 28.4 percent from 42.8 percent, according to the report.

During the period, Hamilton Lane’s SMID Fund improved.

The accompanying table lists the 18 funds with their commitments, distributions and IRRs.