Fund performance: New Jersey pension ekes out a gain in venture

Venture investing at the New Jersey Division of Investment swirls in controversy, but the performance of the pension fund’s venture portfolio has advanced. 

The money manager eked out small to modest gains in nearly all of its holdings through the second and third quarters of last year. At the top of the venture portfolio is the JPMorgan Direct Venture Capital Institutional Investors III, unfortunately its smallest position.

The state pension fund made headlines in recent months for a political controversy over its stake in General Catalyst Group VI. The investment division sold the fund after it became known new Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, then an executive-in-residence at General Catalyst Partners, made a contribution to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s campaign.

The division holds nine venture and venture-related positions with a focus on funds of funds and later-stage funds. It has stakes in the latest fund from Technology Crossover Ventures and Khosla Ventures.

JPMorgan Direct Venture Capital Institutional Investors III had an investment multiple of 1.8x as of September last year, up nicely in 12 months.

Next on the list are the NB Crossroads Fund XVIII and Fairview Capstone Partners, both with multiples of 1.67x as of June 2014.

The accompanying table lists the portfolio’s nine funds with their investment multiples, distributions and commitments.