Essex Pension Fund on the lookout for private debt managers

The UK public pension has issued an RFP for prospective managers offering direct lending fund opportunities.

Institution: Essex Pension Fund
Headquarters: Chelmsford, UK
AUM: £6.60 billion
Allocation to alternatives: 16.72%

Essex Pension Fund has issued a request for proposal seeking to appoint a fund manager for a direct corporate lending mandate, according to the UK government tender website. The mandate on offer is worth approximately £200 million-£250 million ($275 million; €226 million).

Eligible managers must meet a number of criteria before offering their services via submission to the RFP. Managers must be actively raising capital for a closed-ended commingled fund targeting at least £2 billion; must be on at least their third fund raise for the given strategy; must be raising a Europe-focused or global fund which will be in market across Q2 and Q3 2021; and must be targeting net returns of 5-6 percent per annum.

The submission deadline for prospective managers is 12 February 2021.

As illustrated below, Essex’s recent private debt commitments have generally targeted North American or global funds pursuing the acquisition of distressed debt. As such the direct lending RFP represents a shift in the pension’s private debt strategy appetite.

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