Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today that the New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund) has allocated $250 million to Farol Investment Advisers for private equity co-investments with the Fund’s emerging managers program. The announcement came as DiNapoli hosted the sixth annual emerging manager conference in Albany, New York.
"I am pleased that Farol Investment Advisers will oversee the Fund’s new private equity co-investment allocation earmarked for emerging managers," DiNapoli said. "The emerging manager program diversifies the Fund’s portfolio by accessing an often overlooked pool of skilled investors including minority- and women-owned firms.”
Farol Investment Advisers is a joint venture between Farol Asset Management (FAM) and Brooke Private Equity Associates (BPEA). FAM is a minority-owned investment management company headed by Robert Azeke who has over 20 years of investment experience. BPEA is a boutique private equity firm dedicated to managing separate accounts, fund-of-funds, and direct co-investments with over 40 years of investment experience.
"Farol is honored to be selected by the Fund to invest allocated private equity capital directly into established businesses led or owned by emerging fund managers. We look forward to working with the Fund to develop experienced and highly-skilled managers and we commend Comptroller DiNapoli's commitment to identifying and increasing opportunities for these managers," said Robert Azeke, managing partner of Farol.
“We are excited to partner with the Fund and Farol in this pioneering effort to expand access to private equity while delivering strong returns to the Fund's bottom line," said Chris Austen, managing partner of BPEA.
The Common Retirement Fund's emerging managers program began in 1994 with an initial public equities investment. In 2011, Comptroller DiNapoli fulfilled a commitment to expand the emerging managers program into each of the Fund’s major asset classes. The Fund currently invests approximately $3.2 billion with emerging managers.
The goal of the emerging managers program is to invest assets with smaller, newer funds and separate account managers, with a focus on minority and women business enterprises. Emerging managers invest in different structures and markets than larger firms and in so doing, provide diversification for the Fund's portfolio. The emerging managers program enhances the Fund's ability to partner and invest with experienced, but younger individuals and newer firms that are expected to graduate into large, institutional, best-in-class investment managers.
The emerging manager conferences hosted by DiNapoli offer an opportunity for emerging managers to meet with Fund staff and investment partners to discuss how the Fund selects and monitors its investments.