Defined Benefit, Governance, Institutional Investors, People, Private Equity, Public Funds

Kansas Seeks Deputy Private-Markets Investments Chief

The approximately $20 billion Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) in Topeka is taking steps to recruit a deputy chief investment officer-private markets to fill a slot left vacant by the resignation earlier this month of its previous deputy CIO Dean Roney.

Roney left the system for family relocation reasons, according to a press release from KPERS. He did not respond to a message seeking comment on his move that IA sent to his LinkedIn page.

Roney had served as the head of Private Markets at the retirement system since January 2013. In this role, he worked to develop, implement and maintain the System’s real estate, private equity and “real” portions of the real return investment portfolios, according to the press release.

Elizabeth Miller, chief investment officer, Kansas Public Employees Retirement System

In the interim, Chief Investment Officer Elizabeth Miller will serve as the primary contact for private market investments. The System’s external investment consultants are Mercer Alternatives for private equity investments and the Townsend Group for real estate investments.  

KPERS has a team of nine investment professionals who provide oversight and management of the System’s entire investment portfolio and the external investment managers retained by the System. 

KPERS has hired executive search firm EFL Associates to assist it in finding a new Deputy CIO Private Markets (DCIO). The DCIO reports to the CIO and serves as a senior leader in the Investment Division responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining KPERS’ real estate, private equity and “real” portions of the real return investment portfolios. This role is responsible for the supervision and management of the private markets investment staff of two senior investment analysts, according to a posting on the system’s web site.

KPERS administers three statewide defined-benefit retirement plans for state and local public employees; along with a voluntary deferred compensation plan. 

Its long-term target asset allocation breakdown is: 23.5% domestic equity; 23.5% international equity; 11% fixed income; 8% yield driven; 11% real return; 11% real estate; 8% alternatives; and 4% cash.

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