NYC on the lookout for head of private equity

  • Post has been vacant since last year
  • Pension agency to increase PE allocation
  • Public equities are overweight now

Seema Hingorani, chief investment officer in the city’s Comptroller office, said she is still on the lookout for the right person to run the portfolio, sister website peHUB reported.

The former head of private equity, Barry Miller, left last year and joined secondary firm Landmark Partners. The post has been vacant since then, and the system’s private equity team suffered another loss last year when senior private equity investment officer Elizabeth Caldas left to join the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund.

Whoever gets the role will be busy. Hingorani said on the sidelines of the Thomson Reuters PartnerConnect conference in March that the system will continue to be a big backer of private equity. She said during a keynote interview at the conference the alternatives allocation overall will increase and move toward 20 percent. The actual allocations, as of Oct. 31, 2013, for the whole system (which combines five different pension funds) stood at 6.2 percent for private equity, 3.2 percent for real estate and 2 percent for hedge funds, according to information on the city Comptroller’s web site.

“We’re still dramatically overweight to public [equity],” she said. The system has 42.1 percent of its assets in U.S. equities and 17.5 percent in international equities.

She also said on the sidelines the system could continue to be a seller on the private equity secondary market. New York City Retirement System sold about $1 billion worth of its private equity portfolio in a huge secondary sale in 2012 that was run by UBS.

Chris Witkowsky is editor of peHUB.