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Treasurer Cowell Announces $200 Million Small and Emerging Managers Investment Program
Raleigh, N.C. – State Treasurer Janet Cowell introduced a new program today that will focus on selecting small and emerging managers for the North Carolina pension fund’s private equity investment portfolio. This new small and emerging managers program will primarily focus on minority and woman-owned firms, funds under $750 million, and first- and second-time funds.
“Investing is all about finding new potential and helping to realize that potential,” Cowell said. “The first program focusing on public equity has been successful. Expanding the program to private equity allows us to capture higher returns that will benefit pensioners while tapping new talent.”
North Carolina’s small and emerging manager program will be managed by Neuberger Berman’s NorthBound team led by Pat Miller Zollar. The team was chosen based on its proven track record of identifying small investment firms with the potential to achieve above-benchmark results. The capital allocated will target multiple strategies, including Buyout, Growth Capital, Venture Capital and Special Situations. This multi-faceted approach will be achieved through fund investments, co-investments and secondary investments.    
In 2013, the Department began a $300 million small and emerging manager program in public equity, which is performing in line with expectations while still early.  Many public funds utilize small and emerging manager programs because of evidence indicating that small, emerging investment firms outperform their larger competitors.  The Department of State Treasurer has also made advancing a culture of diversity a strategic objective. The Department is committed to working with historically under-utilized businesses (HUBs) to the extent possible without compromising superior risk-adjusted returns.
The Department selected Neuberger Berman through a competitive search process.
Small and emerging managers can submit their information for consideration to Neuberger Berman at:
The North Carolina Retirement Systems, the formal name for the pension fund, is the tenth largest public pension fund in the country. It provides retirement benefits and savings for more than 900,000 North Carolinians, including teachers, state employees, firefighters, police officers and other public workers. For more information, visit
Neuberger Berman, founded in 1939, is a private, independent, employee-owned investment manager. The firm manages equities, fixed income, private equity and hedge fund portfolios for institutions and advisors worldwide. With offices in 18 countries, Neuberger Berman’s team is more than 2,100 professionals and the company was named by Pensions & Investments as a 2013 and 2014 Best Place to Work in Money Management. Tenured, stable and long-term in focus, the firm fosters an investment culture of fundamental research and independent thinking. It manages $251 billion in client assets as of March 31, 2015. For more information, please visit their website at