• Endowment to commit $50 million to THL Credit Direct Lending
  • School fund lost 7.6% through January in marketable securities

The University of Michigan agreed to invest as much as $50 million in a debt fund affiliated with private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners.

THL Credit Direct Lending Fund will invest in a diversified portfolio of private, secured debt securities issued by lower middle-market U.S. companies, according to an agenda for a March 17 meeting of the Board of Regents, which approve the investments along with other business. THL Credit is the credit affiliate of Thomas H. Lee, a Boston-based private equity firm, according to THL Credit’s website.

The endowment, valued at $10 billion as of June 30, is also adding capital to five funds that already manage money for the Ann Arbor-based school, including the venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. In December, the endowment committed $37 million to three Sequoia funds, according to the agenda.

Michigan’s endowment had a loss of 7.6 percent for the first seven months of the fiscal year through Jan. 31 in the “marketable securities” portion of the portfolio. That accounts for 57 percent of assets and includes equities and fixed income, according to an investment report on the school’s website. The rest of the portfolio’s allocation are in illiquid assets such as venture capital and real estate, which are valued on a quarterly basis, according to the report.

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