Top PE Manager Leaves CalSTRS To Manage Simons’ Billions

Pascal Villiger, one of the senior private equity portfolio managers at the $145 billion California State Teachers’ Retirement System, has decided to move back to the private sector. He is joining Medley Partners, the investment group that manages the personal wealth of James Simons, the former math professor and reclusive multi-billionaire founder of Renaissance Technologies, the hedge fund firm.

In its annual list of the richest 400 people in the world, Forbes ranked Simons as the 82nd richest person with a net worth estimated at $10.7 billion.

Medley Partners, which is based in San Francisco, invests mainly in private equity, venture capital and real estate. The firm is led by Brent Whisenant, Brian Schneider and Mark Heising.

Just last month, Villiger spoke with Buyouts at the Super Investor conference in San Francisco, where he confirmed that CalSTRS was “definitely looking at separate managed accounts,” something he said “all large institutions are seriously looking at.”

Villiger was with CalSTRS for four years, working under Margot Wirth, the pension’s private equity chief, and Christopher Ailman, the fund’s chief investment officer. At CalSTRS, he helped manage the second largest private equity pool in the country, with $21.4 Billion in invested capital, as of Jan. 31.

Prior to joining CalSTRS, Villiger was an investment banker at UBS, and prior to that, Bank of America.