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Florida SBA’s Chief Of PE Departs

In the second major departure of a pension private equity chief late last month, Jim Treanor has decided to decamp from the $159 billion Florida State Board of Administration, where he has overseen the state’s private equity portfolio since 2004.

Treanor, who will leave his post on Aug. 3, has been with the Florida pension system 11 years. The news followed an announcement that Wayne Smith, who heads up private equity at Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management, would also leave his post in August.

Attempts to reach Treanor were unsuccessful, but a spokesman for the Florida SBA said he was headed to the private sector. Florida SBA already has begun a search to find a replacement for Treanor, who managed a team of 10 alternative investment specialists. The salary for the role, senior investment officer, tops out at $185,477 a year.

Florida’s pension system, whose primary fund gained 22 percent in fiscal 2011, has moved aggressively this year to boost its allocation to alternative investments.

In June, Ashbel “Ash” Williams, the SBA’s chief investment officer, said he was likely to urge Florida’s legislature to raise the state’s cap on alternative investments to 16 percent from 10 percent.

That boost would include an additional 1 percent, or about $1.6 billion, for private equity, taking the state’s buyouts allocation target to 5 percent. As of April, Florida SBA was managing about $5.6 billion in invested private equity capital. In fiscal 2011, the state’s 18.2 percent return on its private equity portfolio was a major factor in its strong overall pension gains.