One of TIAA-CREF’s investments directors has joined the Connecticut Retirement Plans & Trust Funds to head up its real estate investment initiative. A spokesman for the $24.7 billion state pension system confirmed with PERE that Cherie Santos-Wuest has been appointed as principal investment officer for real estate. TIAA-CREF declined to comment.
Santos-Wuest replaces David Johnson, who left in April 2010. Since Johnson's departure, the portfolio had been managed by Lee Ann Palladino who was deputy chief investment officer and now is chief investment officer. As of 29 February, the real estate portfolio had a market value of $1.3 billion.
Santos-Wuest previously was a director in TIAA-CREF's global social and community investments group, where she was responsible for investing and managing the Corporate Social Real Estate Investment Program’s $580 million debt and equity portfolio and $50 million Green Building Technology Program portfolio. Prior to that, she served as a director in the firm’s global private markets group, responsible for large loan origination for the commercial mortgage team, where she managed and originated more than $1.2 billion in debt investments in various territories within the US and Canada.
Additional reporting by Christopher Witkowsky