New Mexico PERA CIO departs

The $14.5bn pension, which has 4.4 percent of its assets in private equity, is searching for a replacement; deputy CIO Jude Perez is serving as CIO in the interim.

New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA), which has 4.4 percent of its assets in private equity, has lost its chief investment officer.

Interim CIO Jude Perez told Private Equity International former CIO Jon Grabel, who had been at Santa Fe-based PERA for three years as CIO, left on 31 March, and that the search for a new CIO is currently underway.

He declined to comment on Grabel’s pursuit, indicating that Grabel’s new employer had not yet made his hire public.

PERA, which had 4.4 percent of its $14.5 billion assets to private equity as of 31 January, had originally hired Perez in June 2010 as a portfolio manager overseeing PERA’s asset allocation. Most recently, Perez had previously been deputy CIO since September 2015, according to his LinkedIn profile.

During Grabel’s tenure, PERA’s private equity portfolio grew by 17 percent, from $561.4 million in January 2014 to $657.4 million in January 2017. For the year ended 31 January, PERA’s private equity portfolio delivered a 10.5 percent net internal rate of return.

Prior to joining PERA, Grabel served as CIO of Montgomery County Public Schools in Washington DC and was an investment professional at growth equity firm Baker Capital in New York, his LinkedIn profile indicated.

PERA began investing in alternative assets in 2007 and has since built exposure to buyout, venture capital, growth, mezzanine and turnaround strategies in private equity. 

As of 30 April 2016, when the latest such data was available, PERA was invested in 49 private equity funds, including CVC European Equity Partners V, Warburg Pincus XII, Onex Partners IV and Kelso Investment Advisors IX, according to its monthly report at the time.