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SFERS details recent PE fund commitments, performance

San Francisco Employees' Retirement System's private equity investments have gained 16.16% on a calendar-year basis through the end of October, compared to a drop of 3.30% for the system's public equity portfolio.

In a memo prepared for the Nov. 14 board meeting, Chief Investment Officer William Coaker Jr. said the private equity portfolio has benefited from a very strong IPO market, while rising energy prices have boosted real assets, which earned 11.78%, and a strong economy has helped private credit, which is up 9.29%.

The fund was allocated 18.6% to private equity, 35.9% to public equity and 15.4% to real assets as of Oct. 31. In keeping with a plan implemented in October 2016, the system has been working to reduce its allocation to public equity from 48.3%, and that move is about 75% complete. Over the same period, it has increased its allocation to private equity from 13.4%.

Coaker detailed investments approved by the retirement board at meetings over the past several months. At its October meeting, SFERS approved an additional commitment of up to $150 million in San Francisco Asia Investors LP, which, according to PIOnline.com, is a customized separate account managed by Asia Alternatives Management LLC. That investment closed Oct. 16. SFERS previously invested $150 million, $200 million and $100 million in 2014, 2015 and 2017, respectively, in the vehicle.

In September, the fund made about $220 million in total commitments, including $50 million each to Gaw Capital Partners' Gateway Real Estate Fund VI LP, New Energy Capital Partners LLC's New Energy Capital Infrastructure Credit Fund II LP and Vista Equity Partners LLC's Vista Equity Partners VII.