Fernandez leaves Florida for Texas consultant

Frank Fernandez, the head of private equity at the Florida state pension, begins work today at Alignment Capital, an Austin, Texas private equity consultant with plans to raise a fund of funds.

Frank Fernandez, until recently the senior portfolio manager at Florida State Board of Administration in charge of private equity, has left to join Austin, Texas-based private equity consulting firm Alignment Capital.

Fernandez leaves behind one of the largest private equity programmes in the US. His departure comes one month after the departure of portfolio manager Michael Ireland, who left to join New York private equity firm Capital Z Investment Partners as a vice president.

At Alignment, Fernandez will be a partner with responsibility for client service, according to a source.

The firm has built a specialty in performing due diligence on GPs, particularly of newer, smaller or emerging funds. Among other assignments, the firm recommends emerging managers for Colorado’s public pension. Alignment is led by Austin Long and Craig Nickels, who previously co-founded the private equity programme at The University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO).

Alignment had been looking for a new partner with principal investing experience as well as ‘people skills,’ according to a source. The firm is in the process of raising a debut fund of funds that will commit to private equity funds of less than $400 million (€325 million) in commitments.

The fund of funds, with a target of $300 million, is being raised in conjunction with Zurich, Switzerland and Houston, Texas-based Fortman Cline Capital Partners, which has many family office and high-net-worth clients.

Fernandez will join Alignment in its Austin office. In leaving the Florida pension, Fernandez will also relinquish his role as vice chair of the Institutional Limited Partners Association, a trade group for institutional investors in private equity.