New Mexico eyes $70m of commitments in 2011

The $11.7bn public pension is increasing its allocation for the next 12 months, after only deploying $40m in 2010.

The $11.7 billion New Mexico Public Employees’ Retirement Association is looking to invest up to $70 million in real estate commitments in 2011, after failing to deploy all its allocation last year.

Joelle Mevi, the pension’s investment director, said the pension had about $70 million for commitments this, up from $50 million last year. New Mexico only invested $40 million in 2010, against a target goal of $50 million, so some of the 2010 allocation shifted into this year, Mevi said.

The pension boosted its overall allocation to alternative investments to 20 percent last year, increasing the percentage of the total fund to real estate from 2.5 to 3 percent.

There has been “some ramp up in investment activity” in real estate, Mevi said. “We were in a lull, but there are opportunities beginning to appear.”

The US public pension has been more active in terms of its private equity allocation, having spent a big chunk of the $130 million  allocated for asset class in 2011. Mevi said New Mexico had about $60 million left to commit this year.

New Mexico has a 5 percent allocation to private equity and this year has committed about $69 million to three firms – JMI Equity VII, GTCR X and Hellman & Friedman VII. “[We anticipate] two to three more commitments for board approval this year,” Mevi told PEO.