NJ loses investment manager to Rutgers University

Jason MacDonald, who joined the New Jersey Division of Investment in 2007, will join his alma mater as an investment director in July.

The New Jersey Division of Investment private markets senior portfolio manager Jason MacDonald is leaving the state’s pension plan to join Rutgers University as an investment director.

MacDonald joined the $72 billion NJ Division of Investment in July 2007 as an investment analyst and became the senior portfolio manager in April 2011, according to his LinkedIn profile. He is a Rutgers alumnus, having graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2005, his LinkedIn said.

“Jason has been instrumental in building the alternative investment portfolio,” New Jersey Department of Treasury Joseph Perone wrote to Private Equity International in an email. “Director Christopher McDonough will be working with Jason and the team to develop a plan to ensure the alternatives programme continues to be managed in a thorough and robust fashion – as it has been under Jason’s leadership.”

A Rutgers spokesman told PEI that MacDonald will start his new position 20 July as Rutgers’ first investment director, reporting to Rutgers’ vice president for finance and associate treasurer, and to the chairman of the joint committee on investments. MacDonald will help manage the university’s long-term endowment assets and be responsible for the day-to-day oversight of the endowment.

The spokesman added that, in the past, Rutgers, which has a $1 billion endowment, had hired Mercer as a general investment consultant and that Mercer will remain as the university’s investment consultant. Rutgers investor update report by Raymond James indicated the university allocates 10 percent of its assets to private equity investing as of 28 February 2015.

The New Jersey pension fund manages $71.3 billion as of 30 April, according to its website, and allocates about 9 percent of its assets to private equity, according to PEI Research & Analytics.

In March it approved a maximum $500 million to Vista Equity Partners' Vista Equity partners VI, a related co-investment separate account and Vista Foundation Fund III. Last month it committed $500 million to BlackRock SONJ Private Opportunities II – Separate Account (Third Tranche), according to PEI data.