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Former NJ PE head joins Franklin Templeton Private Equity

Clifford will work with institutional clients to design bespoke investment mandates, which was created as a joint venture between Franklin Templeton and Asia Alternatives.

Robin Clifford joined Franklin Templeton Private Equity, a relatively new fund-of-funds co-founded by investment giant Franklin Templeton Investments, according to the firm’s website.

Last month, Clifford announced she was departing her position as head of private equity at New Jersey Division of Investment, as Buyouts reported. She had worked for the division for 15 years, 12 of which she spent on the investment staff.

Clifford is now a principal at FTPE, leading client relations and solutions, according to the firm’s website. “I am excited to join a world-class private investment team and platform,” she told Buyouts in a text message. A person familiar with the firm said her duties will include “designing investment solutions with FTPE’s institutional clients.”

FTPE was created in October 2018 as a joint venture with Franklin Templeton and Asia Alternatives, an Asia-focused fund-of-funds, and operates as an independent firm. It is led by managing partner Art Wang, who previously worked at San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System and New York State Common Retirement Fund, where he led the funds’ private investment and private equity teams, respectively. The firm was founded to “provide investors with bespoke global private equity fund-of-funds solutions,” according to a press release.

The person familiar with the firm told Buyouts its business model involves a “high-alpha” investment strategy that “seeks to connect its investors with the strongest-performing private equity managers focused on faster growing sectors and markets.” The strategy “recognizes the wide dispersion in private investment returns and the significant outperformance of top-quartile managers.”

The firm uses separate managed accounts and operates them based on its clients’ “individual investment goals and needs.”

The firm can do fund investments, direct co-investments, secondaries and special situations investing.

Action Item: check out Franklin Templeton Private Equity’s website here.