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Credit Suisse to manage N.C. Innovation Fund

Posted March 15, 2010

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— Credit Suisse will manage the new $230 million North Carolina Innovation Fund, N.C. State Treasurer Janet Cowell announced Monday at an event in Durham.

The funds are to be invested in companies that have primary operations in North Carolina.

The fund had been announced initially at being worth a total of $250 million.

Credit Suisse has a large operation in Research Triangle Park where it is in the process of adding about 300 employees, primarily in information technology, to its work force of about  1,000.

The banking conglomerate is based in Switzerland.

In November, Credit Suisse expanded its RTP holdings by 35 acres.

Cowell issued a request for proposals last fall seeking applications from firms to manage the $250 million fund. The money is being drawn from the state’s $66 billion public pension fund.

According to Cowell’s office, the North Carolina Retirement Systems, which is the formal name for the pension fund, is the 10th-largest public pension fund in the U.S. and handles benefits and savings for more than 820,000 North Carolinians.

Investors and entrepreneurs have been quite vocal in recent years in seeking more funding for new and emerging companies. The Innovation Fund was set up under legislation passed by the General Assembly.

Hopefuls wanting to manage the state’s investment had to have “at least $1 billion of total assets under management,” according to the RFP.

In addition to having "at least five years of experience” in direct or co-investments, the winner also must have worked with “25 or more private companies with significant operations in North Carolina.”

The Treasurer also specified a firm with “board private equity investment experience, including multiple industries and multiple investment categories” such as venture capital, growth equity and buyouts.

This isn’t the first time state-related funds have been set aside for private sector investments since Golden LEAF also has backed a venture effort. Golden LEAF uses funds awarded to the state through the national tobacco settlement.


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  • pbjbeach Mar 15, 2010

    Question to the states auditors office what kind of R.O.I. will state employees be receiving from this company being allowed to use the retirement sysytem funds for investement purpose ist this kind of arraingment illegal with the state retrement system retires having to sign off on it or at the very least having some kind of in put into to prior to it actually taking place look out state employees an retires you are fixing to get screwed over once again as if this current edconmomy has allready done enough damage to the retirement system an state employees in general they have been trying every since the HUNT ADMINSTRATION TO GET THEIR GRUBBY LITTLE HANDS IN TO THE HUGH POT OF MONEY SO WHAT WILL BE THE R.O.I FOR THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR THIS HUGH INVESTEMENT THANK YOU

  • ratherbnnc Mar 15, 2010

    Well, as least we are having some civil conversation here. Was fully expecting someone to complain it was taxpayer money. Its not. Its state employees retirement funds which is personal!

  • GWALLY Mar 15, 2010

    ..."The banking conglomerate is based in Switzerland...."

    Wonder why US banks can not be trusted to do the "right thing"...???

  • Me again Mar 15, 2010

    Why not Fidelity Investments?....also in RTP and receiver of state tax breaks

  • DiamondBucs Mar 15, 2010

    It was not listed as criteria for the selection process. It is a Swiss bank and I personally would rather have a bank that can manange their buisness and not have to except bail out money to keep them from going under than any US bank. In addition they provide jobs to the area

  • pappy1 Mar 15, 2010

    Credit Suisse? Doesn't sound like an American firm to me.