CapRidge hires Bernstein from Texas Teachers

Founding partner Steve LeBlanc has hired from his previous employer the man responsible for its $2 billion emerging manager program.

CapRidge Partners, the private equity real estate business of Steve LeBlanc and Tom Stacy, has boosted its ranks with the hire of Stuart Bernstein. Bernstein joins the Austin, Texas-outfit from the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) of Texas, where he once worked with LeBlanc prior to his launching of CapRidge at the end of 2012.

Bernstein worked for the $130 billion pension plan for six years and most recently was a senior investment manager in charge of its $2 billion emerging manager program, an initiative designed to see TRS invested in early stage or small to middle-market companies.

In a notice, TRS’ executive director Brian Guthrie, said: “Stuart has done an outstanding job developing a world-class emerging manager program for TRS. Now, we look forward to building upon that success and continuing to be recognized as a leader in this space.” TRS noted that it already has engaged due diligence advisory firm Lenox Park as well as TRS executive management to fill Bernstein’s role and maintain its relationships with its emerging managers.

Bernstein joins CapRidge as it approaches investors for up to $100 million of equity commitments for its second real estate opportunity fund, through which the firm intends to make investments in Southeast and Southwest property markets including the Texas markets of Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. The firm held a first closing for the vehicle in January and is anticipating another close to happen in August.