Pantheon nears $1bn for secondaries

The global fund of funds manager has attracted around $600m in commitments in the last 12 months on its way to a target of $3.75bn.

Pantheon Ventures has raised $940 million for its fourth secondaries fund – Pantheon Global Secondary Fund IV – on its way to a target of $3.75 billion, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The firm has garnered almost $600 million worth of commitments during the last 12 months; a period in which general private equity fundraising has slowed considerably.

Pantheon has been able to attract investments from some smaller institutions, including a $20 million commitment from the $800 million City of Tacoma Retirement System and $15 million from the Buckinghamshire County Council. Pantheon’s previous secondaries fund closed on $2 billion in 2006.

According to a survey published last week by Coller Capital, a secondaries firm whose last fund closed on $4.8 billion in 2007, a third of LPs have increased their exposure to private equity secondaries over the last 2 years. Roughly the same proportion of investors plan to increase their exposure over the next two years.

The Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, which became a private equity investor in August, is creating a secondaries programme and is searching for managers. New Jersey’s and Oregon’s state pensions also are planning secondaries programmes.

If Pantheon was to reach its $3.75 billion target, it would have one of the largest pools of capital for secondaries investment in the market. Goldman Sachs raised one of the largest funds for secondaries earlier this year with the $5.5 billion GS Vintage Fund V. Portfolio Advisors raised its debut secondaries fund garnering $1.1 billion in commitments by November, and Pomona Capital collected $1.3 billion for its seventh secondaries fund this year.

Elly Livingstone, who has been with Pantheon since 2001, leads the global secondaries team from London.

Christopher Witkowsky contributed to this report.