New York pension fund commits $505m to Asian PE, opportunistic funds

New York city skyline. Photo: Todd Quackenbush/Unsplash

New York State Common Retirement Fund (NYSCRF), the third-largest public pension plan in the US, committed a total of $505 million to Asia-focused private equity and opportunistic funds in November, according to its latest investment report.

The pension fund, which invests in PE partnerships directly and through separately managed accounts, committed $65 million to MBK Partners Fund V, the fifth buyout fund of North Asia-focused PE firm MBK Partners.

MBK, which is headquartered in Seoul, is reportedly raising between $5 billion and $6 billion for the latest fund that it expects to close by the second half of this year.

Like MBK’s previous buyout funds, the latest fund, which is dollar-denominated, will seek control deals in sectors with strong domestic consumption such as consumer, tech and financial services in South Korea, China, and Japan.

NYSCRF also committed $20 million to Polaris “Jewel” Capital Fund V, managed by Tokyo-based Polaris Capital Group. The private equity firm invests in middle-market and large buyout transactions in Japan.

The US pension fund also committed $20 million to Israel-focused Fortissimo Capital V. NYSCRF has existing relationships with both Polaris and Fortissimo.

The pension fund, which had a value of $210.5 billion in assets as of 31 March 2019, also invests with general partners and investment managers who invest across asset classes on an opportunistic basis or through direct transactions.

In November, it committed a total of $400 million to SSG Capital Partners‘s fifth flagship fund – SSG Capital Partners V – and its sidecar fund.

The fund invests principally in special situations and distressed investments in the Asia-Pacific region, with a focus on China, India, and Southeast Asia. SSG Capital Partners V Sidecar is a co-investment vehicle that will invest alongside the main fund.

SSG closed its fifth fund and a sidecar vehicle with $2.7 billion in total commitments in December. Aside from NYSCRF, investors in the fund include the Virginia Retirement System and Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System.

SSG Capital Partners, which has assets under management of approximately $6.2 billion as of September 2019, expects to be more active in sectors including infrastructure, real estate, consumer retail, and resources.

Established in 2009, SSG Capital was founded by former Lehman Brothers Asia Special Situations Group execs Edwin Wong, Shyam Maheshwari, and Andreas Vourloumis. The firm has 173 professionals in nine offices across Asia.

NYSCRF manages the retirement security of the more than one million members of the New York State and Local Retirement Systems. As a long-term investor, the fund has an investment approach that capitalises on market opportunities and weathers market ups and downs.

The fund is widely regarded as one of the nation’s best-managed and best-funded pension plans.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.