New York Common hires new head of real estate

Skip Miller, who previously was responsible for alternative investments at the YMCA Retirement Fund, succeeds Marjorie Tsang, who most recently served as interim CIO and will remain with the $146.5 billion pension plan in a senior role.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund, the third-largest public pension plan in the US, has hired Everett ‘Skip’ Miller as director of real estate investments.

Miller succeeds Marjorie Tsang, who joined New York Common in 1993 as assistant counsel for investment transactions and had served as assistant comptroller for real estate investments since June 1999. Tsang vacated that post in September 2011 to serve as interim chief investment officer following the departure of former CIO Raudline Etienne, who left to take a job as senior director at the Albright Stonebridge Group, a Washington, DC-based business consulting and strategy firm.

Miller, who will oversee the pension plan’s $7.6 billion real estate portfolio, is no stranger to New York Common, having sat on its real estate advisory committee from 2003 until June 2012. He previously served as vice president of alternative investments at the YMCA Retirement Fund from September 2003 to December 2011. At YMCA, he designed and implemented a private markets investment programme in real estate and energy funds.

Prior to that, Miller acted as chief operating officer at Commonfund Realty from 1997 and 2002, creating three separate investment funds during his tenure. He also was senior investment officer at the State of Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds for two years, orchestrating one of the first bulk sales of institutional commingled fund interests to Landmark Partners.

Last month, New York Common announced the appointment of Vicki Fuller, formerly a senior portfolio manager at AllianceBernstein, as its new CIO. After Fuller joins the pension plan on 30 August, Tsang will remain in a senior position, but she reportedly will work on investments in all asset classes rather than exclusively real estate. Michael Reilly, the pension plan’s senior investment officer for real estate, served as interim head of real estate between Tsang and Miller.