09 Jan SWIB private equity investments perform; fund overall below par
The State of Wisconsin Investment Board in 2007 made 24.8 percent on its private equity investments, beating the board’s benchmark of 19.1 percent, according to preliminary figures released on Monday.
Of SWIB’s $88 billion diversified portfolio, $3 billion is invested in private equity, and $97 million of that is invested in Wisconsin-based funds, said Vicki Hearing, the board’s public information officer. An additional $88 million is committed to Wisconsin but not yet invested.
SWIB, which manages retirement funds for state employees, began its Wisconsin private equity investments in 2000 and has invested in funds from Mason Wells, Venture Investors, Baird Venture Partners, and Frazier Technology Ventures.
Due to the relatively small number of deals and 5- to 10-year exit cycles, these investments have highly variable year-to-year performance. TomoTherapy’s IPO and NimbleGen’s acquisition by Roche helped push 2007 returns to astronomical levels, but fund managers look at returns through a long-term lens, Hearing said.
The Wisconsin private equity portfolio’s 5-year returns are 8.7 percent. However, since some high-profile Wisconsin investments have taken more than 5 years to exit, even that number may not precisely reflect performance.
SWIB’s $81 billion Core Fund overall underperformed for 2007 at 8.8 percent, compared to the board’s benchmark of 9.5 percent.
• TomoTherapy raises $223 million in IPO
• NimbleGen to discontinue IPO after Roche’s $272.5 million acquisition