BlueBay collects $40m from Louisiana Municipal

A commitment from the US retirement fund manager MERS helps BlueBay progress with fundraising for its second direct lending fund.

Municipal Employees Retirement System of Louisiana (MERS) has committed $40 million to BlueBay Direct Lending Fund II, according to minutes from a board meeting of the state pension fund manager on 16 April 2015.

Aaron Lally, an investment consultant from Meketa Investments, gave a brief introduction of BlueBay Asset Management and an overview of the fund at the meeting.

Ben Harrild, Danielle Hootnick and Lincoln Singleton of BlueBay Asset Management also gave a presentation to the board. MERS moved to commit $40 million to the fund in its hedging strategy.

BlueBay and MERS did not respond to a request seeking further comment.

Private debt fund manager BlueBay has been on the road with the fund for about six months. The London-based firm is targeting €1 billion and has held a first close, PDI understands. Its first €800 million Direct Lending Fund I has been fully invested since the end of 2014, as previously reported by PDI.

Anthony Fobel, the firm’s head of direct lending, was named on a Securities and Exchange Commission filing for the new fund dated 18 December 2014. Fund II is registered in Luxembourg. William Jones, Henry Kelly and Craig Tennier are also named as executive officers on the fund.

BlueBay’s maiden direct lending fund focused on providing senior and subordinated debt of between €20 million and €100 million to UK and Northern European companies with an enterprise value of under €500 million. The strategy remains the same for the second fund, PDI understands. The first fund exceeded its €500 million target by €300 million and closed in May 2013. Ireland’s National Pension Reserve Fund, now known as the Irish Strategic Investment Fund, made a substantial commitment of between €175 million and €350 million to the strategy.