NY Retirement Fund re-ups with old manager for new strategy

The Empire State's pension vehicle made a $15 million commitment to Primary Venture Partner’s Primary Select Fund I in August.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund announced a recent commitment to new strategy by one of its existing managers.

The Empire State’s pension vehicle made a $15 million commitment to Primary Venture Partner’s Primary Select Fund I in August, according to a document released by the pension fund.

This fund will focus on investing in later-stage, high-growth technology and tech-enabled companies in the Northeast, but primarily in companies based in New York.

Fund I is targeting $50 million and held an initial close in August on $33 million, raised from 17 investors, according to a regulatory document.

The fund follows a different strategy for Primary Venture Partners, which has focused its flagship vehicles on investing in seed-stage rounds in New York-based companies.

The firm did not respond to a request for comment regarding the new strategy.

NYSCRF previously invested $30 million into Primary’s PVP main funds in 2015 and 2018.

This latest investment falls into the pension fund’s goal of investing back into New York. Other venture firms it has backed in as part of this program include Tribeca Venture Partners, Armory Square Ventures and Activate Venture Partners.

The pension fund has invested $55 million across five venture funds so far in 2019. Other commitments include $5 million commitments into both NFX Capital Fund II and Viola FinTech I through the pension fund’s Israel-focused fund with Hamilton Lane.

NYSCRF also invested $10 million into Armory Square Ventures II and $20 million into Contour Opportunity Fund II during Q1.

The pension fund has more than $1 billion in assets invested in venture capital and has relationships with 32 managers as of the end of Q1 2019.

NYSCRF is the third largest pension fund in the nation and serves more than 1 million people in New York. The pension system has more than $210 billion in assets under management and a 1-year return of 5.23 percent.