New Mexico PERA CIO departs

The $14.5bn pension, which has 3.4 percent of its assets in real estate, is searching for a replacement; deputy CIO Jude Perez is serving as CIO in the interim.

New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA), which has 4.4 percent of its assets in private equity, has lost its chief investment officer, PERE's sister publication, Private Equity International, reported Friday.

Interim CIO Jude Perez told Private Equity International former CIO Jon Grabel, who had been at Santa Fe-based PERA for three years as CIO, left on March 31, and that the search for a new CIO is currently underway.

He declined to comment on Grabel’s pursuit, indicating that Grabel’s new employer had not yet made his hire public.

PERA managed $1.7 billion in real assets, including $493 million in real estate, as of January 31, according to its most recent investment report. Real assets overall returned 10.9 percent in the year ending January 31.

PERA had originally hired Perez in June 2010 as a portfolio manager overseeing PERA’s asset allocation. Most recently, Perez had previously been deputy CIO since September 2015, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Prior to joining PERA, Grabel served as CIO of Montgomery County Public Schools in Washington DC and was an investment professional at growth equity firm Baker Capital in New York, his LinkedIn profile indicated.
PERA began investing in alternative assets in 2007 and has since built exposure to buyout, venture capital, growth, mezzanine and turnaround strategies in private equity.