NY State Common Retirement Fund To Hire PE Director

The $155 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, or NYSCRF, is looking to fill a newly-created position of director of private equity. The person hired will replace Nick Smirensky, who left the deputy CIO and head of private equity investing positions with the limited partner in October to create an investment program for the $300 million New York State Health Foundation.

NYSCRF’s new director of private equity will report to CIO Raudline Etienne. Duties will include finding investment opportunities, overseeing due diligence, conducting performance analysis and managing a staff of private equity investment officers. The person will administer relationships with private equity consultants and customized fund-of-fund managers as well as oversee strategic private equity investment programs, including in-state, emerging managers and sustainable investment. The starting salary is $150,000 to $200,000.

Etienne has been providing direct oversight of the private equity program since Smirensky’s departure. The LP does not have a set time frame for wrapping up the search. “Finding the right person is paramount, and we will take the time we need to make sure we find the right fit,” said Jim Fuchs, spokesperson.

The private equity portfolio has assets of roughly $10 billion, about one-third of which is committed to 10 captive funds-of-funds, making it one of the biggest backers of such programs in the country. Managers in the captive program include Access Capital Partners; Aldus Equity; Fairview Capital; GKM Newport; Hamilton Lane Advisors; and HarbourVest Partners.

Private equity commitments made in 2008 include Aisling Capital Partners III ($45 million); Ares Corporate Opportunities Fund III ($100 million); Asia Alternatives Capital Partners II ($50 million); Bridgepoint Europe IV (€100 million); CVC Equity Partners Asia Pacific Fund III ($100 million); CVC European Equity Fund V (€150 million); GenNx360 Capital Partners ($60 million); Levine Leichtman Capital Partners IV ($50 million); Lindsay Goldberg III ($250 million); TPG Partners VI ($300 million); and VantagePoint CleanTech Partners II ($50 million).