Ohio SERS commits $50m to Fortress infra fund

The Ohio pension fund has allocated $50m to Fortress Investment Group’s maiden infra fund which closed on $995m in August.

The investment committee of the School Employees Retirement System (SERS) of Ohio has approved a $50 million allocation to the Fortress Worldwide Transportation and Infrastructure Investors (FTAI) fund, the first infrastructure offering to be launched by alternative asset manager Fortress Investment Group.

The investment will be funded from cash reserves, SERS said in a statement announcing decisions taken during a recent board meeting.

Fortress Investment Group held a final close on its FTAI fund on $995 million in August. Later that month, the asset manager confirmed that it would take the fund public.

FTAI’s portfolio includes aviation, shipping, offshore energy and rail assets; and infrastructure such as airplanes, jet engines, shipping containers, and intermodal equipment.

SERS, which has set an allocation target of three percent for infrastructure, made its first investment in the asset class last April, committing $200 million to IFM Investors’ Global Infrastructure Fund.

The pension fund achieved a return of 17.28 percent net of fees for fiscal year 2014, placing it in the top half of US public pension funds, SERS said. All of its portfolios – including real assets – realised gains, with global equities posting the highest return of 24.03 percent.

Established in 1937 and headquartered in Columbus, the School Employees Retirement System of Ohio provides pension benefits and access to post-retirement health care coverage for Ohio’s active and retired non-teaching public school employees.

As of July 31, the total fund stood at $12.59 billion.

Co-founded in 1998 by Wes Edens, formerly a partner at BlackRock Financial Management, and Randall Nardone and Robert Kauffman, previously at UBS, Fortress Investment Group is a New York-listed asset manager.

The firm currently manages approximately $63.8 billion on behalf of 1,600 institutional clients and private investors worldwide across a range of private equity, credit, liquid hedge funds and traditional asset management strategies.