Former TIAA-CREF PE exec joins PineBridge

Armando Acosta left TIAA-CREF in January, the latest departure by an executive who helped build the company's alternatives programme. Others who have left include Shelley Zoler, Sheryl Schwartz and Holly Holtz.

Armando Acosta, a member of the alternative investment squad that ran private equity at Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF), has found a new home at PineBridge Investments.

Acosta, who worked on private equity at TIAA-CREF since 1999, joined PineBridge in May as a vice president, according to a spokesperson for the firm. Acosta’s LinkedIn page also has information about his new role at PineBridge. The firm manages more than $67 billion of assets for institutional and individual clients across listed equity, fixed income, private equity and hedge fund strategies.

Acosta was one in a group of original private equity professionals from TIAA-CREF that left the organisation in recent months.

Also departing the company was Holly Holtz, former senior director of private equity, high yield and distressed investments, who left along with Acosta in January. Holtz had been one of the founding members of the alternative investment team in 1997, along with Sheryl Schwartz. Another founding member of the group, Shelley Zoler, left last year. Zoler had been with the company since 1978.


TIAA-CREF, which manages about $464 billion, merged its formerly distinct alternative investment programme into two other divisions in 2010, and Schwartz left at that time. The company remained committed to private equity after the changes, a spokesperson told Private Equity International at the time.

The alternatives programme was integrated with the portfolio management and private placement divisions at that time. The combined division is headed by Heather Davis, senior management director and head of global private markets, and Marina Mavrakis, managing director of private equity and high yield investments.

The company has kept busy with private equity this year. Since the beginning of the year, TIAA-CREF has made several private equity commitments, including $40 million to Ridgemont Equity’s first independent fund, targeting $675 million; $25 million to NGP Natural Resources Fund X, which closed on about $3.5 billion in June, and $60 million to Vestar Capital Partners VI, which is targeting $3.5 billion, according to TIAA-CREF’s first quarter financing filing.

Since the latter half of 2011, the organisation has also committed to BC Partners, Industrial Growth Partners and WL Ross.