NORTH AMERICA – The New York State Common Retirement Fund has approved a $500m (€373.3m) commitment into the Blackstone Tactical Opportunities Fund. 

This investment will represent the first by the pension fund in the opportunistic class.

Thomas DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller, said: “The Common Retirement Fund is committed to investing where we see opportunities to achieve above-average returns for our retirees and beneficiaries. 

"With this $500m commitment, we are moving forward with plans to invest significantly in this space. The opportunistic portfolio will allow the fund to be flexible in finding and capitalising on solid risk-adjusted investment opportunities.”

Vicki Fuller, CIO at New York Common, said: “The financial crisis of 2009 was a catalyst for the fund to find ways to invest in spaces that did not traditionally fit in our asset class mix. 

"This asset class will allow the fund to be dynamic and invest in cross-asset transactions while giving us the flexibility to go where we see the opportunities. 

"We will use our capital strategically so that if the world changes, this portfolio will change.”

The Tactical Opportunities Fund is structured as a separate account between New York Common and the Blackstone Group. 

It will be looking at investment opportunities on a global basis. 

New York Common has set a targeted allocation for the opportunistic asset class at 4%, or $6.5bn of the pension fund’s $160.7bn investment portfolio.  

The structure of the future investments for the asset class can be either as a separate account or a commingled fund commitment.