North Carolina launches $200m small, emerging managers programme

The North Carolina Retirement System hired Neuberger Berman and said it will conduct parts of the new programme through secondaries investments.

North Carolina has hired Neuberger Berman to run a new $200 million program that will focus on selecting small and emerging managers for its pension fund’s private equity investment portfolio, according to a statement from the Department of State Treasurer released last week.

The program will target minority- and woman-owned firms, funds under $750 million and first-and second-time funds, whether buyout, growth capital, venture capital or special situations, through diverse investing strategies including secondaries investments.

The multi-faceted approach will also be achieved through fund investments and co-investments.

By focusing on small and emerging private equity managers, the North Carolina Retirement System hopes to boost returns.

Neuberger Berman’s NorthBound team, led by Pat Miller Zollar, will manage the efforts. North Carolina previously worked with the firm when it began a $300 million small and emerging manager program in public equity in 2013. Although it’s still early, the programme is performing in line with expectations, according to the release.

“Investing is all about finding new potential and helping to realise that potential,” said State Treasurer Janet Cowell in the statement. “The first programme focusing on public equity has been successful. Expanding the program to private equity allows us to capture higher returns that will benefit pensioners while tapping new talent.”

The North Carolina Retirement System did not return calls seeking comment. Neuberger Berman declined to comment.