TIAA-CREF loses senior private equity officer

The asset manager’s 15-year-old alternatives programme has experienced a recent string of departures, including earlier this year founding member Holly Holtz.

The Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) has had some recent departures in its alternative investments group.

Holly Holtz, a senior director of private equity, high yield and distressed investments, and Armando Acosta, a portfolio manager with the same group, both left the organisation in January. It’s not clear if either Holtz or Acosta are taking positions elsewhere.

Acosta had been at TIAA-CREF for 15 years and Holtz had been at the organisation since 1992, according to their LinkedIn pages, which have not been updated to indicate they are no longer with the organisation.

The company declined to comment about the January departures, but a person with knowledge of the organisation said TIAA-CREF continues to support alternative investments.

Holtz had been one of the founding members of the alternative investments team in 1997, along with Sheryl Schwartz. Acosta joined the alternatives team in 1999, according to his bio on TIAA-CREF’s website. Another founding member of the alternatives group, Shelley Zoler, left last year. Zoler had been with TIAA-CREF since 1978.

TIAA-CREF, which manages about $464 billion, merged its formerly distinct alternative investment programme into two other divisions in 2010, and Schwartz left at the time. The company remained committed to private equity after the changes, a spokesperson told Private Equity International at the time.

The alternatives programme was integrated with the portfolio management and private placement divisions at the time. The combined division is headed by Heather Davis, senior managing director and head of global private markets, and Marina Mavrakis, managing director and head of private equity and high yield investments.