WASHINGTON, DC-After a longer than expected ramp up time, the Treasury Department’s plan to deal with toxic assets has closed on two deals. Invesco Ltc and TCW Group each closed so-called ‘public-private investment funds’ with $500 million of committed equity capital from private investors. Firms that are partnering with the fund managers included Atlanta Life Financial Group, through its subsidiary Jackson Securities, Muriel Siebert and Co. and the Williams Capital Group.

Collectively Invesco and TCW have closed on $1.13 billion of private sector capital commitments, matched 100% by the US Treasury–for a total equity capital commitment of $2.26 billion. Treasury will also provide debt financing up to 100% of the total capital commitments, representing $4.52 billion of total equity and debt capital commitments.

“This is good news,” Kevin Smith, principal with Blackwell Advisors in Rockville, MD, tells GlobeSt.com. With the government match, the managers have a total purchasing power of $4.5 billion,” he notes. It is integral that toxic assets start to move off of banks’ balance sheets and PPIP has been viewed as the main vehicle to do that. Now that the financing is in place, the next pieces will be convincing asset holders to sell–and to fix a price for the market, Smith says.

Despite the successful closing of these two deals–along with promise of more to come by Treasury–critics have plenty to pick over with this particular government initiative. These are the only two fund managers–out of the nine Treasury selected for the program–to have raised the necessary equity. Also, there are many in the industry that had hoped to see Treasury implement its first, larger-scale version of the PPIP. “Right now the program could be as a large as $40 billion,” Smith says. “But that is only a fraction of what it originally was supposed to be.”