Arkansas hikes PE allocation to 10%

The $11bn teachers pension system is looking to put about $200m to work this year in four or five private equity funds.

Arkansas Teachers' Retirement System has increased its target allocation to private equity to 10 percent and made its first investment in the asset class this year with a $25 million commitment to Franklin Park Venture Series 2010.

The pension, which reported $11 billion in assets as of the end of June, 2008, has had an actual allocation to private equity of 6.8 percent.

Arkansas Teachers' is looking to invest up to $200 million more in four to five private equity funds this year, but only if they were “the right deals”, according to the pension's executive director George Hopkins. The pension's private equity portfolio is valued at around $725 million.

Arkansas Teachers' also is planning more private equity real estate investments this year to meet its 10 percent allocation target. The pension's actual allocation to real estate is around 6.2 percent.

Hopkins said the pension was looking to invest up to $250 million to no more than five private equity real estate funds this year, but warned Arkansas wouldn’t deploy capital if “we don’t find the right deals. We don’t have to make the investments if it’s not right”. Arkansas’ real estate portfolio is valued at $600 million.

ATRS has not yet committed to a real estate fund in 2010.