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Top 30 Pension Private Equity Investors

Institutional investors such as public pensions have long locked up their capital in the private equity asset class and will continue to do so as they grow their private book. In today's market, it takes savvy investment talent to scope out the best and hidden investment opportunities. This list highlights 30 astute investors who manage multi-billion-dollar investment portfolios for some of the larger LPs in the U.S. and have built successful portfolios that have stood the test of time. Presenting Trusted Insight's 2020 Top 30 Pension Private Equity Investors.
As Managing Director of Private Equity, Gerald J. Yahoudy II is responsible for overall portfolio management and strategy for NYSTRS’ private equity and private debt portfolios representing active commitments of $21.6 billion and $1.9 billion respectively. Mr. Yahoudy is a voting member of NYSTRS’ Internal Investment Committee and represents the System on numerous limited partner advisory boards. He joined NYSTRS in 2003. Prior to joining NYSTRS, he served in various auditing and accounting roles for the New York State Department of Tax & Finance, Commercial Travelers Mutual Insurance Company, Central National Bank and ABN AMRO. Mr. Yahoudy holds an M.S. and B.S. in accountancy from the SUNY Polytechnic Institute. He also holds a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation. Show more
LeAnne Larrañaga-Ruffy is the Director of Equity/Co-Head of Alpha at the Public Employees Retirement Association of New Mexico and oversees the Global Equity portfolio which is approximately $5.5 billion and includes liquid and illiquid assets. She has been leading the program for eight-plus years. Previously, LeAnne was an investment officer at the New Mexico Educational Board overseeing the Public Markets portfolio and managing the in-house S&P500 and REIT passive portfolios. LeAnne holds a bachelor of science from New Mexico State University. Show more
Didier Acevedo is an investment officer of private equity at the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA). Previously, he worked in private markers at GCM Grosvenor. Prior to that, he was in the equity research group at MFS Investment Management. Didier holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a bachelor's degree in finance from Stonehill College. Show more
Jim Herrington is the private equity investment officer at the West Virginia Investment Management Board (WVIMB), which he joined in 2008. He is also the chief executive officer and founder at Herrington Solutions, a registered advisory firm, incorporated in Nevada. Herrington holds an MBA from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a B.A. in economics and political science from Emory University. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designations. Show more
Robert Ross is a Portfolio Manager for the Private Equity Portfolio at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System. In this role, he co-manages the implementation of CalSTRS’ private equity strategies and sub-strategies and oversees the co-investment program. Prior to joining the team at CalSTRS, Ross spent more than a decade honing his skills in portfolio management, complex financial analysis, market research, and trend analysis. Ross has an aptitude for sourcing, negotiating, and monitoring fund, secondary, and co-investments that support CalSTRS private equity asset allocation strategies. Ross is an ILPA Board Member (Institutional Limited Partners Association) and Treasurer sitting on the Governance Committee where he focuses on a variety of issues affecting the Private Equity industry. Ross holds a B.A. in economics with a minor in business administration from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA with an emphasis on finance, accounting, and entrepreneurship from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. Show more
David Felix is the director of alternative investments at Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System (Pennsylvania SERS), where he has served for over five years. Previously, he was a principal at Mercer Investment Consulting and director of private markets at Syracuse University. He also held a position as the manager of private equity and investment officer at NYSTRS. Felix holds a bachelor's degree from Hofstra University. Show more
Michael Nguyen is the director of private equity at the Montana Board of Investments. He started serving the organization in 2016 and was previously a private market research analyst at CTC Consulting. Prior to this, he served as the finance director at Informed Market Intelligence, and as assistant vice president at Marsh. Nguyen holds an MBA with a focus on international business from Portland State University. Show more

Michael Langdon

Senior Investment Officer, Private Equity

Oregon State Treasury

Michael Langdon is the senior investment officer of private equity at Oregon State Treasury where he has served since 2015. Previously, he was Head of the Americas at Hermes GPE. Prior to that, he was a senior investment officer of private equity at Pension Reserves Investment Management Board. Langdon holds a B.S. in financial management from Clemson University. Show more
David Enriquez is the head of private equity at the New York City Retirement System. Previously, he was the director and vice president of M&A at Rothschild. Prior to that, he was vice president of industrial investment banking at Merrill Lynch. Enriquez holds a JD degree from Columbia Law School, and an AB degree from Brown University and an MPA from Princeton University. Show more
Aaron Armstrong is a portfolio manager at the New Mexico Educational Retirement Board. He manages over $2 billion across more than 50 general partnerships throughout the private markets and alternatives asset classes including private equity, real assets, and the pension’s diversifying strategy which encompasses reinsurance, royalties, and aviation. He is responsible for the end-to-end investment management process, including sourcing, performing due diligence, structuring, and monitoring. Mr. Armstrong holds a master's and two bachelors’ degrees from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Mr. Armstrong is a CFA Charterholder and a licensed CPA. Show more
Andrew Krech is the director of private markets at the Minnesota State Board of Investment, where he is responsible for evaluating investment opportunities and supporting the overall portfolio strategy. Previously, he worked as a senior investment analyst at Macalester College. He also served as a senior performance analyst at Nuveen Investments and a senior investment risk analyst at Northern Trust. Krech holds an MBA from DePaul University and a B.A. in mathematics, Spanish and art history from Macalester College. Show more
Melissa Boyd serves as an Assistant Portfolio Manager at the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio. State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio is one of the nation’s premier retirement systems, serving more than 495,000 active, inactive and retired Ohio public educators. Show more

Justin Lo

Senior Portfolio Manager, Private Equity

San Francisco Employees' Retirement System

Justin Lo is a senior portfolio manager at the San Francisco Employees' Retirement System (SFERS). He began his career as an investment professional with State Street and more recently he has worked for the Dublin San Ramon Services District and UCLA. Justin holds an MBA from California State-Sacramento and a B.A. in math and statistics from the University of California-Berkeley. Show more
Neil Randall is the director of private equity at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. Before starting his position in 2007, he was an investment professional at Convergent Investors, Dell, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Randall holds an M.S. and BBA in finance from Texas A&M University. Show more
Peter Teneriello is an Investment Analyst with the Texas Municipal Retirement System, serving on the private equity team and leading their work in venture capital. His past experience includes leading the finance/operations functions for Waldo Photos, vetting early-stage investments and working with the portfolio companies at Notley, and serving on the private markets team with the Texas Permanent School Fund. Peter holds a BBA in finance from the University of Notre Dame, and is a member of the most recent class of Kauffman Fellows. Show more
Louise Howard is an investment officer at Bureau of Asset Management, NYC Office of the Comptroller. Previously, she was a self-employed consultant where she prepared assessments of business opportunities and risks for clients. Prior to that, she was a portfolio manager at the YMCA Retirement Fund for over 10 years. Louise holds an MBA in finance and a B.A. in French from the University of New Orleans. She also holds Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst and Chartered Financial Analyst designations. Show more
John Bradley has been a senior investment officer of private equity at the Florida State Board of Administration since 2013. Previously, he was the director of private equity for the State of Florida for more than 12 years. Bradley holds and MBA and B.S. in finance from Florida State University. Show more
Michael Xanthopoulos is a senior investment analyst at the District of Columbia Retirement Board (DCRB). He is a member of a small team working directly with the CIO and Investment Committee, responsible for all investment management functions of an $8 billion defined benefit pension fund. Previously, he was an associate research analyst at East Coast Asset Management, and a senior marketable alternatives analyst at Cambridge Associates as well. Michael holds an MBA with a specialization in asset management from Boston College and a bachelor's degree in economics with a minor in English from Lafayette College. Show more
Richelle Sugiyama is the Investment Officer for the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho (PERSI). In addition to her duties at PERSI, Richelle is currently serving as Chair of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) Investment Committee; Vice Chair for the State of Idaho Endowment Fund Investment Board (EFIB); a member of the State of Idaho Treasurer’s Investment Advisory Board; a member of the Boise State University (BSU) Foundation Board; a member of the BSU Bronco Athletic Association Endowment Committee; a member of the Idaho State Board of Education Committee for the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP); and represents PERSI on advisory boards.  Show more
Ricardo Lyra is a director of private equity at the Employees Retirement System of Texas. Prior to that, he held numerous positions at Colgate and Ford Motor Company. Lyra holds an MBA at the University of Texas at Austin with a concentration in finance and a bachelor's degree in finance from New York University. Show more

John Drake

Senior Investment Officer, Private Equity

State of Wisconsin Investment Board

John Drake is the senior investment officer in private equity for the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, where he served for over 13 years. Prior to this, he was an investment analyst for the Teachers'​ Retirement System of the State of Illinois. Early on in his career, he was a credit analyst at Illinois National Bank. John holds an MBA and a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Illinois. Show more
Dana Johns is a senior portfolio manager in private equity for the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System. In her role, her responsibilities include oversight for private equity and venture partnership investments. Prior to growing into this role, she was a senior investment analyst at the System for 5 years. Since 2011, she has been a board member for numerous non-profit organizations including the Waldorf School of Baltimore, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Baltimore and the Friends of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Currently, she is co-president of PEWIN and on the SEO Limited Partner Advisory Council.  Dana has both a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Indiana University Bloomington and a B.S. in Computer Info System, Magna Cum Laude from Stevenson University and graduated from Loyola University Maryland with a master's in finance while working full time as an associate at Camden Private Capital, a private equity fund of funds. Show more

Andrew Kelsen

Portfolio Manager-Alternative Investments

Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund

Andrew Kelsen serves as a Portfolio Manager of Alternative Investments at Public School Teachers' Pension & Retirement Fund of Chicago, since 2014. Mr. Kelsen has over 30 years of broad investment and global capital markets experience. He has held senior roles in Consulting, Trading, Portfolio Management, Project Finance, Market Making, Structuring, Product Development, Compliance and Management. At Chicago Teachers, he focuses on private equity, natural resources, private debt, cash management, asset allocation and operational optimization. Show more
John Kreiter is a senior investment officer at the Wyoming Retirement System (WRS), where he is responsible for manager selection and oversight within fixed income and private debt asset classes, and overseeing the private equity program. He has over 15 years of experience investing directly in public equities. Prior to joining WRS, he was a co-manager of the large and multi-cap disciplines of Munder Capital Management based in Michigan. Kreiter holds an MBA from Wayne State University and a BBA in accounting from Northwood University. He also holds a Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Show more
Edward Norfleet is an investment officer at the Virginia Retirement System (VRS), where he covers the asset-backed and agency mortgage-backed securities portions of the internally managed fixed income portfolio. He joined VRS in 2013 and was previously a senior investment analyst of internal fixed income. Prior to that, he was an analyst at CCA Financial for over three years. Norfleet holds an MBA in finance from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and a bachelor’s degree in economics and psychology from the University of Virginia. Show more
Brock Stephens is the portfolio manager at Utah Retirement Systems. He has been serving the organization for the past 10 years performing due diligence on the $30 billion-plus pension fund across a variety of alternative asset classes such as hedge funds, real assets, and private equity. As portfolio manager, he is responsible for due diligence, maintaining relationships with managers, as well as assisting in strategic portfolio allocation. Previously, he was a portfolio manager intern at Ensign Peak Advisors, in addition to serving United States House of Representatives and E*Trade Financial. Brock holds an MBA concentrated in finance from Brigham Young University and a bachelor's degree in political science from Brigham Young University. Show more
Craig Demko is the director of private equity at the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer-Retirement Systems Division. He has been at the firm since 2005 and was previously a portfolio manager there. Demko holds a B.A. in economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Show more
Gary Ratliff is the director of alternative investments at Colorado Public Employees' Retirement Association. Previously, he was a senior investment consultant at Watershed Investment Consultants, Inc. Prior to that, he was chief investment officer at Texas Tech University and at the Denver Public Schools Retirement System. Ratliff holds a master of science in finance from the University of Denver and a bachelor's degree in finance at UNM Anderson School of Management. Show more
Patrick Reinhardt is a senior investment officer focused on alternatives at Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System (Iowa PERS). Reinhardt has served the organization for 18 plus years. He holds an MBA with a concentration in finance from the University of Iowa. Show more
Joseph Capello is a senior investment officer at the Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System, where he is responsible for sourcing, monitoring, and restructuring investments in both private and public markets for the $17 billion pension fund. He is also actively engaging with the Chief Investment Officer to present new investment ideas, completing $200 million in real estate and led $1 billion in fixed income restructuring. Prior to that, he was an equity trader at Rockefeller Capital Management and an analyst at Point72. Capello holds a bachelor's degree in finance from Boston University. Show more

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