WSIB loses private equity investment officer

The Washington State Investment Board’s private equity team will seek to replace Brian Roberts, who is leaving the pension fund next week.

Brian Roberts, a private equity investment officer at the Washington State Investment Board, is leaving the $74 billion pension fund to rejoin Russell Investments.

Roberts will be leaving Washington State 2 September, confirmed a spokesperson, declining to comment on Roberts’ new position.

Roberts did not return a call seeking comment. According to his LinkedIn profile, Roberts joined WSIB in March 2008 from Russell Investments, where he was director of transition management for seven years. He previously served as an associate at Maristeth Ventures.

Washington State is one of the most significant US pension plans investing in private equity, with $13.5 billion in assets as of 31 March.  Most recently, it approved fresh capital commitments to funds advised by Littlejohn and Oaktree Capital Management, respectively.

In February the pension fund decided to transfer a portion of its $250 million commitment to Oaktree’s eighth fund into a sidecar that will hold capital until the supply of distressed debt opportunities picks up.

The pension moved $125 million into the sidecar fund. The pension made the original commitment to Fund VIII, which is targeting between $4 billion and $6 billion, in September.

Also in February, the pension committed $25 million to CDH Fund IV, a new relationship for Washington State.