The Ultimate List of Emerging Manager Programs

October 19, 2021
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A comprehensive list of emerging manager programs offered by pensions, endowments, and other sponsors

Getting a new fund off the ground is no easy task. It requires significant support, advice, resources, and – of course – investment.

A number of pension funds and endowments have recognized the challenges that emerging managers face and the opportunity they present – and they’ve put together an offering to capitalize on that overlap. The result: emerging manager programs.

What is an emerging manager program?

An emerging manager program is a program offered usually by a pension fund or endowment where they allocate a certain amount of their portfolio to be invested specifically in an emerging manager. Emerging managers are generally defined as managing assets below a certain threshold, as having launched only a certain number of funds, or as an investment fund that is majority owned by those traditionally underserved and excluded in the industry – specifically women and people of color.

Some emerging manager programs focus on one of these definitions, some include all three, just as some focus on a specific area or asset class while others are all-encompassing.

We offer the below as a helpful resource: Our ultimate list of emerging manager programs, for those looking to connect up their new and novel investment strategies with the right fundraising sources. If you know of a program that’s missing from the list, please let us know.

Are you an emerging manager currently in growth mode? Discover Allvue’s Venture Capital Essentials and Private Equity Essentials solutions to learn how we help emerging managers supercharge their growth.

The ultimate list of emerging manager programs

CalPERS Emerging Managers Program

Sponsor: California Public Employees’ Retirement System

Asset Classes: Global Equity; Private Equity; Real Estate

Parameters: Varies per asset class program

Description: With a track record of investing in emerging and first-time funds for more than 25 years, the CalPERS (California Public Employees’ Retirement System) Emerging Managers Program looks to access unique investment opportunities that might otherwise be overlooked while simultaneously cultivating the next generation of portfolio management talent.

LAFPP Private Equity Specialized Manager Program

Sponsor: Los Angeles Fire & Police Pensions

Asset Classes: “This portfolio strives for diversification among strategies (buyout, venture capital, special situations), sectors, and geographies.”

Parameters: First-, second-, and third-time funds that are approximately $100 million to $500 million in size are allowed to participate in the program.

Description: “LAFPP’s Specialized Manager program dates back to 1996.  Since that time, LAFPP has made commitments to Specialized private equity emerging managers that have included firms with minority-, women- and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer- (LGBTQ) ownership.  Additionally, LAFPP has made fund commitments to emerging managers that are based in the City of Los Angeles or California, or targeted investments in economically disadvantaged markets.”

Michigan Small Emerging Manager Program

Sponsor: State of Michigan Retirement System

Asset Classes: Private Equity; Growth Equity; Venture Capital; Credit; Real Estate; Real Return

Parameters: Assets Under Management: Firms that manage less than $3 billion; Target Fund Size: Preference for Funds less than $1 billion; Generation: Fourth generation or earlier institutional funds

Description: “The Michigan Small Emerging Manager Program is a $300 million program that invests across small and emerging manager fund, co-investment, and secondary opportunities. The target strategies for the program include private equity buyouts, growth equity, venture capital, special situations, real estate, infrastructure, credit, and real return opportunities.”

MITIMCo Emerging Managers

Sponsor: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Investment Management Company

Asset Classes: Not listed

Parameters: “While we don’t find it useful to try to publicly articulate all our selection criteria, one over-arching quality we look for in potential partners is a heavy bias towards investing their fund the way they think is best to invest their own money, rather than designing their strategies and organizations to have broad LP appeal.”

Description: “Our approach to emerging managers is simple yet unconventional: we want to identify firms who will produce some of the most attractive investment returns of their generation, form multi-decade win/win partnerships with them, and join their journey very early on.

“Here is what we offer the handful of new emerging managers we partner with each year:

New York City Retirement System Emerging Manager Program

Sponsor: New York City Retirement System and Comptroller’s Office

Asset Classes: Public Markets (Equity & Fixed Income); Private Equity; Real Estate; Opportunistic Fixed Income; Hedge Funds

Parameters: Varies per asset class program

Description: “The New York City Retirement Systems and the Comptroller’s Office are dedicated to identifying and investing with top performing fund managers that demonstrate exceptional potential and are committed to diversity in their investment decision-making process, ownership structure, compensation, and profit-sharing policies.

“The Emerging Manager Program seeks managers that meet the following minimum criteria:

New York State Common Retirement Fund Emerging Manager Program

Sponsor: New York State Common Retirement Fund

Asset Classes: Public Equity; Private Equity; Fixed Income; Real Assets; Real Estate; OARS

Parameters: Varies per asset class program

Description: “The Emerging Manager Program offers opportunities to newer, smaller and diverse investment management firms to help grow the State’s Common Retirement Fund. The Fund is one of a few public pension plans to establish an emerging manager program and has committed $7 billion into the program.”

TRS of Texas Emerging Manager Program

Sponsor: Teachers’ Retirement System of Texas

Asset Classes: Private Equity; Real Estate; Energy, Natural Resources & Infrastructure (ENRI); Long-Only; Hedge Funds

Parameters: Varies per asset class program

Description: Established in 2005 and one of the largest Emerging Manager Programs in the US, the TRS Emerging Manager Program is “designed to identify and grow the next generation of exceptional, high performing managers.”

TRS of Illinois Emerging Manager Program

Sponsor: Teachers’ Retirement System of Illinois

Asset Classes: Global Equity; Global Income; Private Credit; Private Equity; Real Assets; Real Estate; Diversified Strategies

Parameters: Varies per asset class program

Description: “The TRS Emerging Manager Program seeks developing investment managers who show promise to invest successfully on behalf of TRS. The Emerging Manager Program is open to investment managers across all current TRS asset classes.”

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