Maiden infra allocation for Arkansas pension

The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System is investing with Macquarie Infrastructure Partners III.

The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System (ATRS), a US pension fund, has approved its maiden allocation to infrastructure, signing off on a $50 million commitment to Macquarie Infrastructure Partners III (MIP III).

“We have to be diversified and we appreciate infrastructure as a non-correlated asset class,” said George Hopkins, director with ATRS in Little Rock, Arkansas. “We also like the risk-return profile infrastructure has”.

The $13 billion public pension began probing infrastructure “a long time ago,” according to Hopkins, noting Arkansas carried out an asset-liability study that recommended infrastructure “as a good place to go”.

The System “over time” is planning to put $200 million into the asset class, Hopkins said, noting ATRS has no immediate intention of making another infrastructure allocation. Arizona has a 7.4 percent allocation to private equity and a 4.4 percent alternative asset bucket.

MIP III, which is focused on North America, began fundraising in January. The fund is successor to Macquarie Infrastructure Partners II and Macquarie Infrastructure Partners I. 

A US spokeswoman for Macquarie Group declined comment.