David C. Turner, Guardian Life’s PE architect, to step down next month: UPDATED WITH VIDEO

  • Turner has developed portfolio for seven years
  • Formerly managed alternatives in Michigan
  • At Guardian, a mix of assets, co-investments 

“For me this is technically retirement from Guardian but probably not from PE, or related endeavors, over the long term,” Turner wrote in an email to Buyouts. (At press time we were unable to reach Turner for additional comment.) “My wife and I do plan to take the next year off, spend more time with our grandson and start enjoying the fruits of our labor.”

Turner, who is 64, joined Guardian Life in June 2007 after a five-and-a-half year stint at WestLB Mellon Asset Management, where he served as CEO and CIO in the private equity group, according to Turner’s LinkedIn profile. From 1999 to 2002 Turner served as director of the alternative investments division for the State of Michigan Retirement System. All told, according to a speaker bio used at the Buyouts East conference a year ago, Turner had originated and led 110 investments valued at $5.2 billion across buyout, venture capital and other private equity strategies, including both direct investments and co-investments.

Guardian Life, the fourth largest mutual insurance company in the United States, has been steering most of its private equity dollars of late—some $200 million per year—to smaller buyout funds. However, it also has an appetite for large-cap buyout funds, venture capital funds and special situation funds. The program includes fund investing, co-investing and secondary buys. 

In a recent interview with Buyouts, Gordon said the goal of the portfolio is to generate returns of at least 300 to 500 basis points over the return of public equities. Gordon joined Guardian Life in mid-2010 after spending seven years at the State of Michigan co-investment fund, according to his LinkedIn profile. While at Michigan, he led 22 co-investments in the United States and Europe totaling more than $300 million and served on six company boards, the profile states. Previously, Gordon served as senior managing director and head of the private equity division at Hartford Insurance.

Other members of the Guardian Life private equity team, according to Turner, include Cheng Wang, Michael Gujda and Laurie Boland.

(The original version of this story has been updated with Turner’s exact age and with the years he worked as director of alternative investments division at the State of Michigan Retirement System.)