Side Letter: Ex-KKR exec Navab dies, Deutsche layoffs, Washington SIB head reflects

Top dealmaker Alex Navab dies; Deutsche restructuring leaves DWS unscathed; Washington SIB investment chief has dim view of multi-strategy GPs. Here’s today's brief, for our valued subscribers only.

Just happened

Alex NavabNavab dead at 53

Sad news this morning: Alex Navab (pictured), the former KKR senior executive and head of Americas, died unexpectedly on Sunday while on holiday with his family. He was 53. Navab had recently embarked on launching his own firm and was seeking $3 billion to invest in upper mid-cap businesses. A spokesman for Navab Capital Partners declined to comment on the cause of death.

‘You never want to waste a good crisis’

Private equity has changed a lot since Gary Bruebaker, outgoing CIO of Washington State Investment Board, started investing almost four decades ago. Bruebaker, whose remit includes WSIB’s $21 billion PE portfolio, tells PEI he understands GPs’ need for multiple strategies but prefers to not be a player that invests in all of them. “It also spreads the cream at the top a little thinner, across the various products that they [GPs] are offering,” he says. Up next for Bruebaker: spending time with his wife, kids and six grandkids.

Deutsche doldrums

Sad scenes in London, New York and Tokyo yesterday as Deutsche Bank began the cull of some 18,000 staff. Naturally our question was: how does the restructuring affect the private equity team at DWS, the asset management unit that listed last year and which Deutsche is still the largest shareholder? “The restructuring at DB doesn’t affect DWS in any way,” a spokesman tells us.

For context, here‘s what happened to Deutsche’s primary PE business, and here‘s what happened to its secondaries business.


NZ Super’s VC venture. More details have emerged around New Zealand Superannuation Fund’s venture capital debut. The SWF is contributing NZ$240 million ($159 million; €142 million) towards a fund of funds managed by the state-owned NZ Venture Investment Fund. Its chief, Richard Dellabarca, says the vehicle will also consider offshore funds that either launch a NZ-domiciled fund or that allocate a dollar figure to the market. Returns aren’t a top priority at this stage, he adds.

Lend your ears. Thinking about making a move into private credit but can’t get your head around the management fee structures? We’ve got just the podcast for you: sister title Private Debt Investor speaks to two experts to peel back each layer of the fee onion.

Inside tip

PEI reporter Alex Lynn is at the RISE technology conference in Hong Kong today through Thursday. Get in touch if you’re there and fancy a bit of market chat.

Dig deeper

Texas targets. Texas County and District Retirement System has agreed to commit around $144 million in total across three funds. Below is a breakdown of the $30.4 billion US pension’s portfolio. For more information on TCDRS, as well as more than 6,700 other institutions, check out the PEI database.

He said it

“I don’t want to hear any more that ‘climate change is important, but we leave it to our investment managers’.”

UK pensions and financial inclusion minister Guy Opperman ups the ante on pension funds’ role in tackling climate change at an event in London.

We would love your feedback to help us make this newsletter more useful; click here to give us your opinion.

Today’s letter was prepared by Adam LeIsobel MarkhamAlex Lynn and Preeti Singh.

Subscribe now and get Side Letter delivered to your inbox each day

To find out how, email, or call our team:

London: +44 207 566 5432
New York: +1 646 545 6296
Hong Kong: +852 2153 3140