Missouri pension commits $68 mln to existing relationships

The pension fund made re-up commitments to New Enterprise Associates and Defy.

The Public School and Education Employee Retirement Systems of Missouri (PSRS/PEERS) committed more than $68 million into venture during its 2019 fiscal year.

The Jefferson City, Missouri-based pension fund made two commitments to existing manager relationships during FY2019. PSRS/PEERs invested $50 million into New Enterprise Associates 17 and $18.75 million into Defy II.

NEA 17 launched in March with a $3.6 billion target. The fund hasn’t announced a final close yet.

It has also received commitments from California State Teachers’ Retirement System, Kansas Public Employees’ Retirement System and Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System, among others.

New Enterprise Associates focuses on healthcare and technology investments from seed to late-stage.

Defy II closed in April on $262 million of commitments from 49 investors, according to a regulatory filing. Defy focuses on early-stage investments in consumer, enterprise and deep tech companies.

The Missouri pension fund previously committed to Defy’s first vehicle and NEA’s 13, 14, 15 and 16 vintages.

Other venture managers the pension partners with include Battery Ventures, Insight Venture Partners and General Catalyst Group.

Venture makes up 25 percent of the pension’s private equity bucket, as of the firm’s most recent CAFR in June 2018. Private equity is currently 11.38 percent of the portfolio with a 12 percent target.

The private equity portfolio marked a 10-year return of 16 percent as of June.

The pension fund is looking to commit $1.1 billion to private equity over the next three years.

The pension fund was founded in 1946 and serves more than 221,000 retired and active teachers and education employees. The fund has more than $47 billion in assets under management.