US public pension plans’ 2017 alternative asset commitments

This LP profile made almost 950 commitments to various private vehicles last year.

Real assets ranked second for public pension commitments in 2017, according to data from analytics firm eVestment.

Private equity made up the plurality of commitments to alternative asset funds in 2017 by US public pension plans, comprising almost 45 percent of the allocations put aside for private equity, real assets, private debt and fund of funds strategies. The real assets category includes real estate, raw land, infrastructure and any other similar assets.

Fundraising was a mixed bag across the asset classes, according to data from four of PEI Media’s titles.

Infrastructure and real estate fundraising experienced slowdowns. Real estate fundraising, which includes debt and equity, raised $93 billion, down from last year’s $117 billion and a significant decrease from 2008’s total of $160 billion. Infrastructure commitments totalled $57.9 billion, decreasing for the second year in a row.

Private equity fundraising increased for the second year in a row, hitting $409.64 billion, the highest since the global financial crisis and near the 2008 high of $433.16 billion. Indeed, the year saw the largest buyout fund ever raised, Apollo Global Management’s Apollo Investment Fund IX, which collected almost $25 billion.

Capital set aside for private credit soared in 2017, hitting $180.1 billion after raising only $111.01 billion in 2016. The previous high for private credit fundraising was $133.02 billion in 2013.

With additional reporting by Meghan Morris.