Commonfund bulks up with hires and promotions

The Connecticut-based investment manager has hired new investment professionals to help increase its activities with secondaries, Latin American managers and customised private equity mandates.

The $25 billion investment manager Commonfund has bolstered its private equity and venture capital investing teams with two hires and three promotions.

Tim Yates has rejoined Commonfund’s private equity group, Commonfund Capital, as a managing director. After starting in the private equity group as an analyst in 2000, he moved to the investment manager’s strategic solutions team, where he has worked for the past 10 years. Yates’ managing director role at Commonfund Capital is a new position, created due to both rising investor interest in customised private equity mandates and the increasing importance of Latin American managers. Yates will lead Commonfund Capital’s customised private equity mandates division and oversee its Latin American managers.

Commonfund has also hired former Portfolio Advisors professional Dave Jensen as an associate director, another new position. Jensen will focus on private equity at Commonfund, and previously held positions at Morgan Stanley and Pelion Venture Partners, according to his Linked In page. His hiring comes as Commonfund seeks to devote additional resources to secondaries, “an area of increased interest for our investors”, the firm said in an email.

Both Yates and Jensen are based in Commonfund’s Connecticut headquarters.

In addition to the hires, Commonfund Capital has promoted a total of three individuals in its Beijing, Connecticut and London offices. Leenong Li has been named managing director in Beijing, where he heads the group’s Asian initiatives. He joined Commonfund in 2010. He was previously a managing director in Jerusalem Venture Partners’ Shanghai office and a partner at China Broadband Capital.

Mark Hoeing has been promoted to managing director in London and head of Europe, where he has worked since 2005.

Brijesh Jeevarathnam has also been promoted to managing director and co-head of venture capital, based in Connecticut. He has been with Commonfund since 2006 and previously held positions at McKinsey and Company and GE Capital, according to his Linked In page.

Commonfund Capital is in market with its flagship fund of funds vehicle, Commonfund Capital Private Equity Partners VIII, targeting $600 million, and a number of other funds of funds focused on emerging markets, venture capital and natural resources.

The group’s private equity team now includes 21 investment professionals.