RSIC committing $1.5bn to alternatives

 Two of the four credit investments revealed by South Carolina Retirement Systems Investment Commission are to emerging market strategies

The South Carolina Retirement Systems Investment Commission (RSIC) will invest $1.5 billion with four debt managers and a private equity firm, according to documents recently published by the pension fund.

The investor has committed $400 million to Sandlapper Credit Fund, a multi-strategy private debt fund managed by Highbridge Principal Strategies. Another $250 million was committed to Goldentree Structured Credit SMA, a mixed credit strategy run by GoldenTree Asset Management.  

 The two emerging market commitments comprise a $300 million allocation to GMO Emerging Country Debt Fund, an open-ended fund managed by GMO. The second is an initial $300 million commitment to Ashmore Investment Management’s SMA External Debt (Broad), another emerging market debt fund. The documents show that RSIC could allocate up to four percent of its assets to the strategy.  

Columbia, South Carolina-headquartered RSIC’s debt portfolio comprises 36 commitments across direct lending, distressed, energy, mezzanine, mortgages and other strategies, bringing the total to around $4 billion. As of December 31, 2014, the net asset value of the private debt portfolio equated to 5.6 percent of the total the pension system’s investments. 

Apart from the debt investments, RCIS will also invest $80 million in Pacific Equity Partners Fund, contributing another roughly $50 million to co-investments acquire underperforming mid-market companies in New Zealand and Australia.   

In April, South Carolina RSIC committed $375 million to two real estate funds. About $300 million to Blackstone Property Partners, a real estate fund managed by Blackstone and $75 million to Brookfield Strategic Real Estate Partners II, a global opportunistic fund managed by Brookfield Asset Management. 

Highbridge, the manager of the Sandlapper Credit fund has $12.5 billion of assets under management within its private credit business and is a subsidiary of JPMorgan Asset Management Holdings. GoldenTree has assets under management worth $20.8 billion and manages about $2.5 billion in structured credit.

The GMO Trust managing the GMO Emerging Country Debt Fund and London-based Ashmore Investments have $7.2 billion and $62.5 billion in in fixed income assets under management respectively.