NY pension private equity head steps down

The New York Common Retirement Fund’s Nick Smirensky has left the $155bn pension to helm the investment activities of the New York State Health Foundation.

Deputy chief investment officer for the New York Common Retirement Fund (NYCRF) Nick Smirensky has stepped down to take the reins of the New York State Health Foundation’s (NYSHealth) $300 million investment portfolio.

In his new role, Smirensky will oversee the growth of NYSHealth’s portfolio and formalise the foundation’s investment programme by developing explicit investment policies and procedures.

Smirensky has been responsible for the retirement fund’s $13 billion private equity programme and helped manage the investment strategy of the pension. Smirensky worked at the $155 billion pension since 1993.

“[Nick’s] work on our in-state private equity programme has made it a national model,” said New York state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

The addition of a full-time, in-house investment professional at the foundation is a response to the growing complexity of investing in the turbulent financial markets, NYSHealth said in a statement.

NYSHealth is a foundation established by the state of New York with charitable funds from the privatisation of Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Its mission is to expand health insurance coverage, increase access to high-quality health care services and improve public and community health.