New York Pension Commits $50 Million to Local Private Equity

Manhattan, New York

New York’s Common Retirement Fund has announced an additional $50 million will be invested in local private equity through the pension fund’s In-State Private Equity Investment Program.

Through the In-State Program, which started in 2000, the Common Retirement Fund invests in New York-based companies. Graycliff Partners will manage the new commitment.

From a press release:

“The In-State Private Equity Investment Program is proof that investing strategically in New York companies produces results,” said DiNapoli. “The program has returned nearly $300 million to the state pension fund and supported thousands of jobs across the state. This $50 million commitment to Graycliff will help to keep the state pension fund strong for the more than one million retirement system members and retirees as well as promote growth in our local economies.”

The In-State Private Equity Program is designed to meet fiduciary standards and provide investment returns to the state pension fund consistent with the risk of private equity. The program invests in New York State-based companies seeking capital for growth, to refinance ownership or for early stage investment. The program has returned $293 million to the state pension fund on 71 exited investments.

As of September, the state pension fund has invested $760 million in 292 companies and helped to create or retain nearly 4,000 jobs. Comptroller DiNapoli has more than doubled the pension fund’s commitment by adding $749 million to the In-State Program. Since 2007, three new managing partners have been added to oversee the program’s investments including Graycliff in 2014, Contour Venture Partners in 2011 and DFJ Gotham in 2009.

“Graycliff Partners has a long history of investing in and growing lower middle market businesses by supporting strong management teams and providing strategic and financial guidance,” said Andrew Trigg, managing director for Graycliff Partners. “We view New York State as a region with a great depth and diversity of corporate and entrepreneur-owned businesses poised for expansion and crucial to economic development in the state.”

The state pension fund selected Graycliff as a managing partner for the In-State Program in October, increasing the total number of partners to 19. The New York City-based firm will invest in buyout and growth equity transactions across the state.

The Common Retirement Fund manages $180 billion in assets for New York’s largest state-level retirement systems.