Florida State Board of Administration (FSBA) has launched the Florida Growth Fund, which will seek to invest $250 million in private equity during the next 3 years. The $119 billion board, which carries out investments for 36 investment funds, including the Florida Retirement System, aims to stimulate the state’s economy by investing in private equity opportunities provided by Florida-based or Florida focused general partners. Private equity fund of funds manager Hamilton Lane has been hired to manage the project and will aim to invest $10-20 million in 15-20 venture capital, growth equity and small to medium buyout vehicles. The Florida Growth Fund will also look to use Hamilton Lane’s extensive private equity network to make 20-25 direct co-investments of approximately $5-15 million in size. The private equity fund of funds manager is planning to set up an office in Florida to support the initiative, while a number of primary and co-investment opportunities have already entered the due diligence process.
In addition to its Florida focused plans and recent commitments of nearly $500 million, FSBA is looking to build new relationships with private equity GPs over the course of 2009 and is particularly interested in gaining further exposure to distressed debt and mezzanine funds in the private equity arena. It also plans to establish captive specialised separate accounts focusing on debt-related opportunities and Asia. The board expects 2009-10 vintage private equity funds to produce strong returns.
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