Baltimore pension fund allocates to Värde, Permira from new private debt bucket

The pension fund formally OK’d the new portfolio allocation in March and approved $25m in commitments to the strategy.

The Baltimore City Fire and Police Employees’ Retirement System has approved two new private credit commitments totalling $25 million one month after it carved out a new portfolio category for the asset class.

The Maryland pension fund this week gave the nod for allocations to two separate strategies, a spokeswoman said. The commitments comprised a $10 million investment in Värde Partner’s Värde Fund XIII, a distressed debt vehicle, and a $15 million contribution to Permira Debt Manager’s Permira Credit Solutions IV, a senior debt fund.

The Värde fund has also won a $150 million commitment from the Minnesota State Board of Investment, while the Permira vehicle, which has a €2.5 billion target, locked down $75 million from the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, according to PDI data.

At its March meeting, the Baltimore pension fund approved the creation of a separate private debt bucket. The target allocation for the strategy is 3 percent, or approximately $80 million. The pension fund created the bucket to access attractive yields in comparison to its liquid credit strategies, according to documents from Tuesday’s meeting.

The retirement plan’s debt commitments were previously kept in its private equity bucket. The spokeswoman added that the fund will transfer its existing debt managers, Castlelake, Nexus Capital Management, Capital Dynamics and Siguler Gulf, into the new allocation.

The limited partner invests across multiple debt strategies including distressed, fund of funds and senior debt. Prior to the 16 April meeting, the firm’s last debt commitment was $16 million to the Nexus Special Situations II fund in May of last year.

The pension fund was founded in 1962 and covers more than 10,000 active and retired members. The fund has more than $2.73 billion in assets under management.