NYSTRS Names Insider As New PE Chief

Pension: New York State Teachers’ Retirement System

Assets Managed: $91 Billion (Dec. 2012)

PE Assets Managed: $7.2 Billion (Dec. 2012)

PE Allocation (Target): 8.2% (7%)

Chief Investment Officer: Thomas Lee

Since Shah left, the private equity team has reported directly to Thomas Lee, NYSTRS’s executive director and its chief investment officer, according to spokeswoman Heidi Brennan in an e-mailed message to Buyouts. Virtanen hasn’t previously overseen private equity at NYSTRS, Brennan said.

NYSTRS’s $7.2 billion private equity portfolio consists of buyouts, venture capital and special situation vehicles. Overall, the portfolio amounted to 8.2 percent of NYSTRS’s assets as of Dec. 2012, above the pension’s 7 percent target allocation. NYSTRS began investing in private equity in 1999.

A veteran of NYSTRS who first joined in 1977, Virtanen assumes his new role after having served, since 2005, as the managing director of the pension’s $15 billion real estate portfolio. That role, according to NYSTRS, will now go to David Gillen, who had been a manager in the pension’s real estate group since 2007.

NYSTRS pays out roughly $5 billion a year to its 150,000 beneficiaries.