GLOBAL - Dutch asset manager AlpInvest has been awarded a US$500m (€358m) mandate by a US pension fund, the company's first in the region.

The award, from the Municipal Employees' Retirement System of Michigan (MERS), comes a week after the private equity manager's sale to Carlyle Group was finalised.

The US$500m investment will be staggered over a five-year period, invested across all of AlpInvest's investment strategies, including co-investment opportunities.

Additionally, Michigan awarded a further US$250m to Carlyle Group, again spread out over a five-year timeframe and held in a separate managed account by the US asset manager.

Anne Wagner, chief executive at the US$6.4bn pension fund, said she was very happy to be the Dutch company's first US client.

"We anticipate building this new relationship to leverage their teams' depth and breadth of expertise and experience as MERS explores the global private equity markets," she said.

The fund's chief investment officer Jeb Burns added: "AlpInvest has demonstrated an ability to access all aspects of the private equity market and achieve top-quartile performance over multiple market cycles."

AlpInvest's chief executive and chairman Volkert Doeksen added that MERS would serve as an important first reference client when acting in the US.

According to MERS most recent annual report from December 2009, the fund invested $543m in private equity, overseen by Credit Suisse.

Jointly owned by APG and PGGM until earlier this year, AlpInvest was sold to the firm's management and Carlyle Group in late January.

It currently manages €42bn in assets, with Carlyle Group overseeing a further US$107.6bn.