MassPRIM’s PE Chief Plans to Step Down

Wayne Smith, who has overseen the $5.4 billion private equity program for Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management (MassPRIM), announced plans to step down and join Pathway Capital Management, a fund-of-funds company with $23 billion under management.

As senior investment officer, Smith has managed MassPRIM’s private equity assets since 2002. He joined the pension system in 2000, and reported to Chief Investment Officer Stanley Mavromates.

In a statement, Michael Trotsky, MassPRIM’s executive director, said: “In his 11 years at PRIM, Wayne has built a private equity program … that is second to none. His leadership, knowledge of the investment industry, friendship and work ethic will be greatly missed.” A search for a replacement has already begun.

Private equity was a major contributor to MassPRIM’s 22.3 percent return in fiscal 2011, the pension body’s best performance since 1986. As of June 30, MassPRIM managed $50.3 billion in assets.

In 2010, MassPRIM’s private equity program turned in a respectable 17.1 percent return. In that year, MassPRIM’s board decided to boost private equity allocations by an additional $1 billion as the value of its private equity program had already exceeded its 10 target.