HarbourVest snags $750m Michigan Uni portfolio – updated

University of Michigan endowment's sale is the latest in a series of large divestments by North American institutional investors.

University of Michigan, one of the largest such endowments in the US, has offloaded a portfolio of private equity stakes to HarbourVest Partners.

The endowment sold around $750 million-worth of stakes to the Boston-headquartered investment firm in a deal advised by Greenhill, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

The composition of the portfolio is not clear.

University of Michigan has $11.81 billion in assets under management, $3.4 billion of which are in private equity, according to PEI data. It has an exposure to the asset class of 28.3 percent.

Some of its biggest recent commitments have been $50 million to Kane Anderson Energy Fund VIII, $23 million to Battery Ventures XII and $40 million to Asia-focused Longreach Capital Partners III.

The past month has seen several North American limited partners sell substantial portfolios of private equity stakes. On Wednesday, Secondaries Investor reported that Blackstone’s Strategic Partners secondaries unit had picked up a portfolio of private equity stakes worth around $1 billion from Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association.

Maryland State Retirement and Pension System and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan have also sold $1 billion-plus portfolios.

Endowments accounted for 19 percent of secondaries sellers by number in the first half of 2018, according to Greenhill data, with general partners and funds of funds posting the same figure. Pensions and sovereign wealth funds accounted for the largest proportion, 20 percent.

Greenhill declined to comment. Michigan did not return a request for comment by press time.

– Adam Le contributed to this report.

– This article was updated to reflect that University of Michigan was the seller, not Michigan Department of Treasury.