CalPERS commits $120m to SAIF IV

The commitment comes as the $200bn pension is reviewing its private equity programme, including analysing fees paid by its fund managers to placement agents.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has committed $120 million to SAIF Partners IV.

SAIF declined to disclose how much it is targeting for Fund IV, according to fundraising documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. SAIF, a greater China-focused growth capital provider led by managing director Andy Yan, collected $1.1 billion in 2007 for its third fund.

The firm recently invested $15 million in Yayi International, a goat milk products company. It has also partnered with several non-state backed Chinese private equity firms like CDH Investments and Hony Capital to raise RMB funds.

CalPERS has undertaken a massive review of its private equity programme, examining both the fees paid by fund managers to placement agents, and its relationships with long-standing managers including Apollo Management.

The pension, with about $200 billion in assets, boosted its allocation to private equity in June to 14 percent of the fund. As part of the increases to the asset class, CalPERS lowered its exposure to global equity to 49 percent from 56 percent and raised its cash target to 2 percent from 0 percent.

Other US pensions have directed money to China-based funds to take advantage of an economy that has been less affected by the financial meltdown, and rife with investment opportunities.

In November, the Teachers’ Retirement System of Texas, a $71 billion pension, invested $200 million in Asian fund of funds Squadron Capital and investment advisor and manager Morgan Creek Capital Management Asia.