OPERS’s Alt Asset Chief Leaves

The head of alternative asset investments for the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Ohio resigned earlier this month, Buyouts has learned.

Greg Uebele, who was hired in 2001 to lead OPERS’s first investments in private equity, left the pension on May 9. A source at OPERS would not say where he’s headed next, and added that OPERS has no plans yet to replace him. Uebele joined OPERS from the Houston Firefighters Relief & Retirement Fund.

As a senior investment officer for the $71.6 billion pension fund, Uebele managed relationships with OPERS’s external advisers and managers, including advisers of OPERS’s private equity, real estate and global bond portfolios.

Through Dec. 31, the pension fund’s holdings in private equity totaled $2.2 billion, or 3.2 percent of all assets. More than 70 percent of that sum is committed to LBO funds, with the remainder earmarked for venture capital and special situations.

When Uebele joined OPERS in 2001, the limited partner had recently set a 4 percent target allocation target to private equity. OPERS raised the target to 5 percent last year and added a new 5 percent target allocation to a $13 billion health care fund also under the OEPRS’s management.

The pension fund expects to commit about $1.2 billion per year across both allocations through 2013, according to its 2008 investment plan. The LP commits slugs of $20 million to $200 million to buyout funds.

OPERS has previously backed firms such as The Blackstone Group, Blue Point Capital Partners, Castle Harlan, Linsalata Capital Partners and the Riverside Co.—J.H.