Massachusetts buys $150m energy LP interest from Harvard

The $50.6bn Massachusetts pension purchased the secondary stake in Denham Capital Management Commodity Partners V from Harvard.

Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board has purchased for $150 million an LP interest in Denham Capital Management Commodity Partners V through a secondary purchase from Harvard Management Company.

The interest is in Denham’s most recent fund, which closed on $2 billion in July for investments in oil and gas, mining, timber and power industries. The fund is the Boston-based firm’s first independently raised vehicle after spinning out of failed hedge fund Sowood Capital in 2007.

The firm is led by Stu Porter, former commodities director for the Harvard endowment, which totaled $36.9 billion at the end of June 2008. Denham was formed in 2004 as Sowood’s in-house private equity energy unit.

Harvard went to the secondaries market last year to sell about $1.5 billion in private equity fund stakes, but reportedly stopped trying to sell the interests.

Massachusetts has a long-term allocation to alternatives of 10 percent and reportedly has an actual allocation of 12.2 percent.