NY State Common Retirement backs Blackstone's $14bn infrastructure fund

New York State Common Retirement Fund (NYSCRF) was among investors in Blackstone’s $14bn fundraising push for its open-ended infrastructure fund.

The pension fund confirmed that it has committed $300m (€268m) to Blackstone Infrastructure Partners (BIP), which was launched in 2017 with backing from a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund.

The Blackstone Group declined a request for comment.

“By participating in the close, we were able to see the team execute the fund’s strategy, both with the first two assets in the portfolio, as well as the infrastructure assets that went elsewhere,” NYSCRF told IPE Real Assets.

So far the fund is known to have invested $3.3bn for a 44% interest in Tallgrass Energy based in Kansas and has also invested an undisclosed amount in Carrix, one of the world’s largest marine terminal operators.

NYSCRF said: “BIP is bringing all of the significant resources of the Blackstone Group to bear on the infrastructure asset class”, adding that the company’s “ability to source and manage assets is unquestioned, as demonstrated in private equity and real estate”.

It said the open-ended structure of the fund would enable Blackstone to “match the long-lived nature inherent in infrastructure assets”.

The pension fund noted that Sean Klimczak, who is overseeing infrastructure for Blackstone, “has brought together an experienced team of senior professionals to lead the effort”.

NYSCRF said there were opportunities for large investors like itself to co-invest alongside the fund, particularly in the area of renewable energy.

The pension fund also revealed that it had created a $300m emerging real estate fund manager programme with GCM Grosvenor.

The Empire GCM RE Anchor Fund will seek to invest with 10 to 15 fund managers with commitments of between $15m and $30m.

There will be a focus on value-add and opportunistic strategies, with at least 80% of assets located in the US.

GCM Grosvenor did not respond to a request for comment.

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