Illinois Teachers’ hires secondaries advisors

The retirement system has hired Park Hill, Cogent and UBS for an advisory ‘bullpen’ to be called on as and when needed.

The Teachers’ Retirement System of Illinois has hired three advisors for private equity and real estate secondaries transactions to form a “bullpen” that will be accessed as and when the system engages in a secondaries deal, according to a statement from Illinois Teachers’.

Park Hill Group, Cogent Partners and UBS were all hired to form the system’s “bullpen”, and will be called on “when needed to help identify and carry out secondary market transactions” either in the system’s $4.4 billion private equity portfolio or its $4.6 billion real estate portfolio, the system said.

“Hiring the three firms in this manner gives [the system] greater flexibility when it enters the secondary market because each firm brings different skill sets to each unique opportunity,” a spokesperson for the retirement system said.

The advisors will be paid when they do work for the system, the spokesperson said. It’s not clear if Illinois Teachers’ hired the three firms ahead of a planned secondary portfolio sale. The spokesperson declined to comment about potential secondary transactions.

The system’s 2011 private equity tactical plan included the “enhancement of its secondary market capabilities”, according to the minutes of the June 2011 investment committee meeting. The system has expanded its private equity strategy in recent years, adding a co-investment programme in 2010.

Meanwhile, the system also committed $75 million to GI Partners IV, which is in the market targeting $1.5 billion; $75 million to Oaktree Capital Management for real estate investments and $35 million to Great Point Partners as part of Illinois Teachers’ emerging manager programme.