New Jersey State Investment Council Chair Grady steps down

  • Grady has led council since 2010
  • NJ generated 12 pct annualized return during tenure
  • Tom Byrne to take over on interim basis in January

New Jersey State Investment Council chairman Robert Grady stepped down from his role following the council’s Nov. 19 meeting. The former Carlyle Group executive chaired the council during a four year period that featured a surge in the value of its private equity portfolio.

The council’s Vice Chairman Tom Byrne will take over for Grady on an interim basis when it reconvenes in January. Byrne founded Byrne Asset Management in 1998 and is a two time chairman of the state’s Democratic State Committee.

“I’m very proud of our returns,” Grady told Buyouts. “In the last quarter, and in the last several years, our distributions from private equity have actually exceeded our capital calls.”

“Tom’s been a great investor and we’ve operated in a very bipartisan way … I think it’ll be a smooth transition,” Grady said.

The state’s Division of Investment generated an annualized return of 12 percent between 2011 and 2014 fiscal years. Its private equity portfolio grew from $4.2 billion in 2010 to roughly $7 billion as of August 31, according to state investment reports.

Grady originally intended to serve as Council chairman, a voluntary position, through New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s first term. He stayed for another year when former Division of Investment Director Tim Walsh stepped down to take a position with real estate firm Gaw Capital. Christie asked Grady to remain chairman to help find Walsh’s replacement and assist in the new director’s transition, he said.

New Jersey Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff named Chris McDonough director of the investment division in March.

Byrne presented a resolution at the Nov. 19 meeting thanking Grady for his service, which the Council passed unanimously. The resolution notes that the state’s investment portfolio exceeded its expected returns by 50 percent, adding $13 billion of “unanticipated value” to the fund.

Grady, who resides in Wyoming, plans to spend more time with his family. He also said that he wanted to spend more time working on his private equity firm, Cheyenne Capital, which is said to be considering a second fund.