Kevin Kester Leaves CoPERA –

Kevin Kester has unexpectedly resigned from The Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association (CoPERA), effective Dec. 12. He has spent the past seven years as the organization?s director of alternative investments, and leaves behind a $2.7 billion private equity portfolio that represents approximately 10% of all CoPERA assets.

Kester’s new gig will be as vice president of capital markets at The Broe Cos., which basically means that he?ll help the self-funded investment firm develop new sources of capital. “They may raise an outside fund. They want to have that capability, and be working in that direction,” Kester says. “The bottom line is that Broe needs to grow its asset base and it will need to tap fresh sources to do that. I am looking forward to being on the other side of the fund-raising fence.”

It is unknown who will replace Kester, although his successor?s most immediate challenge may be reducing CoPERA’s overexposure to private equity. The $27 billion pension system?s private equity allocation targets have historically fluctuated from as high as 12% to as low as 3%, but the current plan is to reduce to 10% allocation down to around 8 percent. This doesn’t mean that CoPERA isn?t making new investments, but just that it is willing to part ways with existing general partners who CoPERA feels are no longer worthy of additional investments.

CoPERA is currently advertising for a new director of alternative investments, and expects to consider both internal and external candidates. A final decision is expected in January. ? Danielle Fugazy