Washington State commits $400m to PE

The Washington State Investment Board has approved commitments to GTCR’s tenth fund, targeting $3bn, and Southern Cross’ fourth Latin America fund, which closed last month on $1.68bn.

The Washington State Investment board has recently made $400 million in commitments to private equity, including a $300 million commitment to GTCR’s tenth fund and a $100 million commitment to The Southern Cross Group’s fourth Latin America fund.

Chicago-based GTCR’s Fund X is targeting $3 billion, and was launched in the last few months. The firm’s prior fund collected $2.75 billion in 2006.

Southern Cross Latin America Private Equity Fund IV closed on $1.68 billion in September. The Buenos Aires-based firm began raising capital in December 2009 and exceeded its original target of $1.25 billion thanks to a “very high percentage” of returning investors, a source familiar with the matter told PEO.

Fund IV will focus on investments that cater primarily to Latin America’s growing consumer class, with an anticipated average deal size of between $100 million and $300 million. Stanwich advisors was the fund’s placement agent and advisor.

Southern Cross’ previous Latin America-focused fund closed on $751 million in 2007, exceeding an original target of $500 million.

In June, Washington State named Hamilton Lane as its new private equity advisor. The Philadelphia-based gatekeeper took over the consulting mandate from Capital Dynamics, which had been advising WSIB on its $13 billion private equity programme since 2005. The mandate is up for renewal every five years.

Washington State is one of the most significant US pension plans investing in private equity, with $13.5 billion in assets as of 31 March. In May, the pension committed up to $150 million to Littlejohn’s fourth fund, which is targeting $1.3 billion.

GTCR, which partners with management teams to target specific sectors, has invested more than $8 billion in more than 200 companies since its founding in 1980. 

Southern Cross’ investment strategy is not sector specific. In addition to Buenos Aires, the firm has offices in Santiago, Sao Paulo, Mexico City and Greenwich, CT, and has operated portfolio companies in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Mexico.