NYCRS hires Finnish, Chilean pension execs in PE build out

The $208bn New York City Retirement Systems has hired two experienced private equity executives from Ilmarinen and AFP Capital.

New York City Retirement Systems, which oversees assets for five of the city’s retirement funds, has expanded its private equity team with the hire of two veteran limited partners.

Katja Salovaara, a senior portfolio manager for private equity at Finnish pension fund Ilmarinen, joins as a senior investment officer for private equity, while Cristian Norambuena, head of strategy and alternative investments at Chile’s AFP Capital, also joins with the same title, according to an industry source.

Both Salovaara’s and Norambuena’s LinkedIn profiles show their updated titles.

Salovaara spent close to two decades at Helsinki-based Ilmarinen and was part of the team that built the pension’s private equity exposure to around €3.9 billion as of March. Private equity made up 8.1 percent of the €47.4 billion pension’s asset under management, according to its Q1 2019 interim report.

Norambuena led the pension manager’s alternatives division for more than six years and managed asset allocation and GP selection for five pension fund portfolios, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was previously head of alternatives at Santiago-based investment firm ProVida.

The hires come at a crucial time for NYCRS, which wants to build a co-investment programme.

In March, NYCRS earmarked another $600 million for its private equity emerging manager programme, bringing the total assets committed to small and emerging managers in the asset class to more than $1.5 billion.

The system managed about $208 billion as of June including the $71.5 billion Teachers’ Retirement System of the City of New York and the $66 billion New York City Employees’ Retirement System.

Private equity made up 6.1 percent or about $12.8 billion of the pension system’s total AUM as of June, according to its website. It has backed funds managed by Ardian, Warburg Pincus and KKR, according to PEI data.