Minnesota eyes re-up in Strategic Partners’ latest fund

The pension, which was set to explore a secondaries sale over the summer, is considering a $150m commitment to the Blackstone unit's Fund VIII.

Minnesota State Board of Investment is set to match its previous commitment to Strategic Partners‘ flagship private equity secondaries fund, helping it on the way to an expected 2019 close.

The US pension’s investment committee recommended a commitment of $150 million to Strategic Partners Fund VIII, according to a quarterly update on its website, pending board approval. It committed the same amount to the firm’s 2015-vintage Fund VII, which raised $7.5 billion by final close in January 2017.

Fund VIII is targeting $8 billion, nearly 40 percent more than it sought for its predecessor, Secondaries Investor reported in May.

Speaking on the firm’s third-quarter earnings conference call in October, Blackstone president and chief operating officer Jonathan Gray said he expected the fund to be larger than its previous vintage and to finish fundraising next year.

Ardian, Lexington Partners, Coller Capital and Strategic Partners, four of the five largest secondaries players according to the SI 30, are in market seeking a combined $41 billion, according to PEI data.

Minnesota has $97 billion in assets under management, according to PEI data. It has made investments in the latest flagship secondaries vehicles of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Adams Street Partners, and in Lexington Partners’ 2016-vintage mid-market secondaries fund.

In June the pension received approval to explore the sale of $500 million-worth of private markets funds stakes. The board approved a recommendation to sell the stakes which are “substantially mature or otherwise do not represent the optimal use of capital going forward”, Secondaries Investor reported.