Virginia approves $620m in fresh commitments

The state’s retirement system has committed to six alternative investment funds, weeks after increasing its alternatives allocation to 10 percent.

The $58 billion (€38 billion) Virginia Retirement System (VRS) has made a fresh wave of commitments following its recent decision to increase its private equity and real estate allocation to 10 percent from seven percent.

A spokeswoman confirmed the pension's largest commitment, $300 million, went to a real estate fund being raised by JPMorgan subsidiary Security Capital.

The pension also approved a $20 million commitment to Abry Partners’ sixth media and communications-focused fund, which is targeting $1.3 billion according to the Probitas Partners 2008 Private Equity Deskbook. Summit Partners, which VRS last year identified as one of its top 10 private equity fund managers, received a €66 million commitment for its European fund. The US buyout firm also received $50 million for its fourth subordinated debt fund, targeting $500 million, according to Probitas.

The pension committed $30 million to the second co-investment fund raised by Adams Street, a fund of funds and private equity advisory group. VRS committed $50 million to Solus Core Opportunities Fund II, an investment fund being raised by Solus, a division of UK bank Brown Shipley. VRS also committed $70 million to Angelo Gordon Capital Recovery VI, a distressed investment fund which last month hit its $2 billion hard cap, according to a Dow Jones report.

Last fiscal year private equity was the retirement system’s top-performing asset class, returning 32 percent. As of 30 June 2007, the value of its private equity program was approximately $3.6 billion.