Rhode Island commits $50m to I Squared fund

The Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island has committed $50m to the debut fund New York fund manager I Squared is raising.

The Rhode Island State Investment Commission (SIC), which oversees investments for the $8 billion Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island (ERSRI), has approved a $50 million commitment to I Squared Capital’s ISQ Global Infrastructure Fund, Infrastructure Investor was able to confirm.

“The ISQ commitment is consistent with the SIC’s policy asset allocation, which includes a targeted 3 percent allocation to private infrastructure,” said Andrew Roos, chief of staff of the Office of the General Treasurer, in an e-mailed response. An additional 2 percent target has been set for master limited partnerships (MLPs), bringing the total target allocation to infrastructure to 5 percent.

The General Treasurer chairs the State Investment Commission, a 10-member volunteer body that handles ERSRI's investments as well as oversees non-pension related investments such as the General Fund.

The administration at Treasury changed on January 6, when Seth Magaziner became General Treasurer, succeeding Gina Raimondo, now Governor of Rhode Island.

ERSRI, a pooled vehicle for five state-administered plans, began investing in infrastructure in 2012. In February 2013, it had said it would allocate $220 million to private infrastructure. Four months later, it committed $50 million to IFM Investors’ Global Infrastructure Fund. That commitment has not yet been drawn down according to Roos.

As a result, the retirement system's actual allocation to infrastructure stood at zero percent, according to documents from the SIC’s December 16, 2014 meeting.

New York-based I Squared Capital launched its debut fund in September 2013. As of December 2014, the fund manager had surpassed its original $2 billion target.

ISQ Global Infrastructure Fund, which has a hard cap of $3 billion, will focus on energy, utilities and transportation with a greater emphasis on North America and Europe, and to a lesser extent on emerging markets.