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Gov. Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Gilchrist Announce 36 Investments in Michigan Small Emerging Manager Program Totaling More Than $139 Million

Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II announced that a Michigan Department of Treasury program for small emerging investment fund managers has reached its halfway point. To date, the Michigan Small Emerging Manager Program has made 36 investments totaling more than $139 million.  

“As governor, I am focused on growing our economy, and I will work with anyone to create jobs, lower costs, and bring investment to every region,” said Governor Whitmer. “The Michigan Small Emerging Manager Program ensures that small private-market investment managers in our state have the support they need to grow their businesses and make profitable returns to reinvest in our communities.” 

“The Michigan Small Emerging Manager Program is a solution to strengthen investment returns within Michigan’s public school and state employee pension plans,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “Industry data suggests that small managers with diverse backgrounds perform well when compared to their counterparts. Small managers can be nimbler, more focused, and are often more keenly motivated to build their businesses through innovative strategies that include maximizing returns via more diversified, values-driven investment opportunities. This program brings everyone to the table.” 

The Michigan Small Emerging Manager Program expands access to capital for emerging small private-market investment managers, focusing on generating competitive returns and increasing the diversity of investments with a broader range of managers both in-state and nationally.

The State of Michigan Retirement System (SMRS) has made a $300 million commitment that is co-managed by two industry leading fund managers.

Global investment fund managers Barings and GCM Grosvenor are managing the program, providing expertise and assistance to smaller investment fund managers with the ability to closely monitor their portfolios. Both investment firms run similar programs more broadly across the country.

“Providing broader perspectives to the state of Michigan’s investment portfolio just makes sense for maximizing returns,” State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said. “We continue to seek small and emerging private market managers to help our retirement system grow with strategic investment opportunities.  In particular, we are proud of the new Michigan-based fund managers that we have been able to reach with this program.”

Barings and GCM Grosvenor continue to recruit emerging, small private-market investment managers that meet the target criteria, conduct thorough diligence, negotiate market terms, provide capital to managers, and manage the portfolio. 

The Michigan Department of Treasury’s Bureau of Investments provides investment management services and serves as a fiduciary to the SMRS trust funds. The SMRS collectively contains the retirement assets for all state-level public pension funds on behalf of retired and active public-school employees, state employees, state police, and judges.

The SMRS invests in various assets to meet or exceed the actuarial rate of return over the long term and diversifies assets to reduce risk.

Investment managers interested in the program should visit the Michigan Small Emerging Manager Program website.