University of Michigan backs JAM Special Opportunities

The University of Michigan will hold this investment within its $1.27bn absolute return portfolio. 

The University of Michigan’s Board of Regents approved a $30 million commitment to JAM Special Opportunities Fund III last week, according to a representative from chief financial officer Timothy Slottow’s office.

Jacobs Asset Management’s latest special situations vehicle will invest in equity and debt securities of small and mid-sized public and private companies in the financial services sector, according to Michigan documents.

“They will provide growth capital to small private companies with proven products and experienced management teams, invest in thinly traded out-of-favor public companies, and identify situations where a complex security is fundamentally mispriced as a result of adverse market conditions or regulatory pressure,” according to documents.

JAM will continue to mitigate risk through a value driven philosophy “rooted in contrarian thought”, according to the documents. The fund will focus on niche growth markets, and may act as an activist investor in certain situations. 

A representative from the firm declined to comment.

The special opportunities fund had raised approximately $55.6 million on an undisclosed target as of 17 April, according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Seymour Jacobs, William Roy, Michael Sekits and Ryan Zacharia are listed as executive officers of the fund.

Jacobs Asset Management has offices in New York and Los Angeles.

The University of Michigan grouped this investment in its absolute return portfolio. As of 28 February, the University had a $1.27 billion, 15.4 percent allocation to absolute return. Its alternative assets portfolio, which includes allocations to private equity, venture capital and real estate, was valued at $8.2 billion as of the same date.