Louisiana Teachers names new alternative manager

Duke Williams departed the state teachers’ pension, which has 12% of its assets in private equity, after nearly two years overseeing private markets and investment operations.

The Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana has named Adam Averite as its new private assets manager to oversee alternative asset portfolios including private equity, Private Equity International has learned.

The appointment comes as TRSL’s former private assets manager Duke Williams left the Baton Rouge-based TRSL on 11 May, according to a TRSL spokeswoman, who also confirmed that Averite started on 15 May. TRSL had 12 percent of its $17.9 billion assets in private equity as of 31 March.

According to Williams’ LinkedIn profile, he is now serving as director of treasury and cash management at private health insurer Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana.

He originally joined TRSL in June 2015 as director of investment operations from the $1.1 billion Louisiana State University Foundation, where he had the same title, his LinkedIn profile showed. At the foundation, he covered various asset classes, including alternatives, performed manager due diligence and conducted performance measurement, among other responsibilities.

There was no publicly available information on Averite, except a biography on the Louisiana State University’s finance academy members list for 2014 indicating that Averite, who was set to graduate from the university in December 2013, was a private investments intern at TRSL.

A spokeswoman for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana was not available to confirm Williams’ move.

TRSL began investing in private equity in 1995 and mainly makes fund commitments, according to its website. Its investment policy states that TRSL’s private equity portfolio can include buyouts, venture capital and growth equity.

According to PEI data, TRSL committed $125 million to Apollo Investment Fund IX and $100 million to CVC Capital Partners VII earlier this month. In the fiscal year ended 30 June 2016, TRSL committed $15 billion to alternative assets, which include private equity, real estate, private debt, infrastructure and commodities, according to its latest annual fiscal year report. A further breakdown by asset class was not available.