LP Briefs, November 2010

Allstate to Commit up to $450M to 15 GPs

Allstate Investments, the alternative investments unit of insurance company Allstate Corp., intends to commit $400 million to $450 million to private equity this year, Director Ross Posner said at a recent conference in New York.

Allstate, which invests in venture capital, as well as growth and buyout funds, said it intends to make pledges to 15 general partners, according to Posner, who added that some commitments will be re-ups with existing managers and some will be for new relationships.

Posner also indicated the firm was interested in exploring opportunities in China and Latin America. In 2007, Allstate Investments opened its first non-U.S. office in London. —Nancy Gordon

New Jersey May Up PE Allocation

The $70 billion New Jersey State Investment Council, which hasn’t made a PE commitment in two years, is considering raising its upper limit to private equity exposure to 12% from its current cap of 7 percent. The state’s actual private equity allocation stood at 6.5% as of Aug. 31, although New Jersey’s target allocation is 5.5 percent.

Strategic Investment Solutions (SIS), the state’s consultant, suggested the increase, stating in a September letter that New Jersey’s allocation to alternatives is “below the average of peer plans in total alternatives exposure, in particular with respect to private equity.” The 20 largest state pension funds have an average PE target of 10.8%, according to SIS.

The state will likely pledge $700 million to $1 billion to private equity over the next 12 to 15 months, Christine Pastore, New Jersey’s head of private equity, said at a conference in April. New Jersey has not made a commitment to the asset class since November 2008.

In other news, Timothy Walsh was named the new director of the Treasury’s Division of Investment in July, replacing William Clark, who left to become the senior vice president and CIO at the Federal Reserve System’s Office of Employee Benefits. Walsh most recently served as the CIO of the $8.5 billion Indiana State Teachers Retirement Fund. —Nancy Gordon

Indiana Pledges $100M to Secondaries

The Indiana Public Employees’ Retirement Fund recently made a $100 million commitment to a secondary fund.

The state pension fund’s commitment went to Lexington Partners’ Lexington Capital Partners VII, a secondary fund earmarked mainly to acquire interests in U.S. partnerships. Lexington plans to invest an average of $20 million to $60 million in each deal during an investment period expected to stretch from last year to 2012.

In other Indiana pension fund news, David Cooper was recently named chief investment officer for both the Indiana Public Employees’ Retirement Fund and the Indiana State Teachers’ Retirement Fund. —Nancy Gordon