Colorado PERA creates fund for Colorado’s entrepreneurs

DENVER — Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012 — Colorado PERA has launched a new investment vehicle that will make millions of dollars available to Colorado’s business community. The capital will be earmarked for Colorado businesses that have a nexus to Colorado and currently have the support of a financial sponsor.  The new fund may also consider uniquely-structured capital formation opportunities to private equity and venture capital firms targeting Colorado-based opportunities.

Colorado PERA, with more than $40 billion in assets, is one of the largest financial institutions in the state. The primary focus of this new commitment will be private equity and venture capital opportunities structured as co-investments with financial sponsors.

The investment process and underwriting criteria that PERA will consider before making investments will be consistent with the overall private equity program in place at Colorado PERA since the early 1980’s.

“We heard from businesses around the state during the development of the Colorado Blueprint that increased access to capital is critical to their success and that of our state’s economy,” Gov. John Hickenlooper. “The creation of the Colorado Mile High Fund will improve that access to capital and we are pleased that Colorado PERA’s partnership will benefit and help grow companies here in Colorado.”

“The Colorado Mile High Fund will be a new pool of growth capital for investments in Colorado businesses. Over time, the amount of money available for such emerging entrepreneurs and management teams has diminished in Colorado, and PERA saw the mutual benefit providing much-needed capital for Colorado’s business community,” said PERA Director of Alternative Investments Tim Moore.

“This is good for Colorado and for PERA,” added PERA Chief Investment Officer Jennifer Paquette. “Colorado-based companies need an additional source of funding and, with the creation of the Colorado Mile High Fund, PERA will use our high investment standards to benefit our membership and Colorado’s economy.”

Gregory W. Smith, Colorado PERA’s Interim Executive Director said, “The introduction of the Colorado Mile High Fund is the result of PERA working in conjunction with Governor Hickenlooper to address the goal of making capital available for Colorado-based businesses, and this effort benefits the Colorado economy as well as the Colorado PERA membership.”

The Customized Fund Investment Group (CFIG) of Credit Suisse Asset Management, LLC was selected as the adviser for the Colorado Mile High Fund.  A competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process was used to select the adviser for this endeavor.  Investments in Colorado’s entrepreneurial community via the Colorado Mile High Fund will begin this fall.  Hewitt EnnisKnupp assisted in the search process for the Colorado Mile High Fund.

Colorado PERA provides retirement and other benefits to more than 492,000 current and former employees of more than 500 government and public entities in the state of Colorado. Colorado PERA is the 21st largest public pension plan in the U.S. with more than $40 billion in assets.

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Media Contacts: 

Kathy Green
OEDIT
720.280.9725 c
kathy.green@state.co.us

Katie Kaufmanis
PERA 303.863.3814 o
kkaufmanis@copera.org