Former LP Zoler moves into fundraising

Shelley Zoler, one of a group of senior-level private equity executives to have left TIAA-CREF in recent years, has found a home at boutique investment bank Bentley Associates.

Shelley Zoler, a founding member of the alternative investments group at the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF), has joined boutique investment bank Bentley Associates.

Zoler, who worked at TIAA-CREF from 1978 until she left in 2011, took on the role of senior advisor at the company and will be working on private equity fundraising. She started in January. Bentley’s fundraising team includes managing directors Lore Monnig, Steve Oakes and David Dempsey.

Bentley works with mostly small and mid-market private equity managers, including emerging managers on their first or second funds. It works in full fundraisings or even tailored processes for firms with specific needs.

Bentley works with spin-outs of professionals with strong track records, and also will help managers build up their US-based LPs, according to Lore Monnig.

Zoler said her experience as a long-time limited partner will help her work with Bentley’s clients on sourcing potential capital and how to deal with LPs.

Zoler was one of several senior private equity executives who left TIAA-CREF in the past few years. Sheryl Schwartz, one of the founders of the alternative investments team which formed at TIAA-CREF in 1997, left the institution in 2010 and joined mid-market specialist Perseus as a senior managing director.

Last year, Holly Holtz, a senior director of private equity, and Armando Acosta, a portfolio manager with the group, both departed TIAA-CREF. Acosta took a role with PineBridge Investments last June as a vice president.