Tulane seeks director of private markets

The position at the $1 billion university endowment will help to source new managers and monitor the existing portfolio, which includes real estate.

Tulane University’s endowment is searching for a new director of private markets investing, which includes private equity and real assets.  The director will help to source new managers and monitor the existing portfolio.

The $1 billion endowment’s current head of private markets, managing director Sam Masoudi, will continue to spend some of his time as head of private investments but will expand his focus to all other asset classes and broader portfolio issues. Masoudi joined the university endowment in 2008 after working as a portfolio manager at a hedge fund.

Tulane’s endowment has a 10 percent target allocation to real assets. According to Tulane’s annual report, its real assets portfolio saw a strong performance last year, gaining 21.3 percent in fiscal year 2011 and beating its benchmark by 1.8 percent. The portfolio is heavily exposed to real estate.

“Real estate assets staged a double digit rebound after two very difficult years,” the report said.

The endowment has invested in private equity since 1990 and does not use an external consultant for the asset class, like many other institutional investors. In recent years, the endowment has been able to access top-tier managers because of the financial downturn and subsequent fundraising crunch, Masoudi told sister publication Private Equity International in a prior interview.

“It’s been good for us,” Masoudi said in 2010. “We have found that the top decile funds that we target are still able to raise funds quickly and are oversubscribed, but want to diversify their investor base and are finding room for some new LPs.

“Most other funds, especially those with short records, have been struggling to raise capital,” he said.