New Hedge Fund, PE Heads at NYC Pension

The $160 billion system has promoted two staffers to lead its alternatives buckets.

New York City’s Bureau of Asset Management—investor to its $160 billion of pension money—has named internal staffers to lead its private equity and hedge fund programs.

Effective immediately, NYC’s comptroller appointed Alex Doñé as head of private equity and Neil Messing to take over the hedge fund portfolio. 

Doñé has worked at the bureau, investing the city’s five pension funds, since 2012. Prior to the promotion, he served as the fund’s executive director of private equity and oversaw its $5.6 billion emerging managers program.

He spent the bulk of his earlier career in the private sector, with 16 years of experience in investment banking and private equity. Doñé has worked at Clearlake Capital Group, KPMG Corporate Finance, and Merrill Lynch. For two years, he served as a presidential appointee at the US Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency.   

The NYC pensions’ new head of hedge funds likewise built his background in the private sector before becoming an asset owner in 2011. Messing most recently served as the fund’s senior investment officer responsible for hedge funds. According to the NYC comptroller’s office, he “built and managed a diversified $4 billion portfolio of direct hedge fund investments and a fund-of-hedge funds” for the pensions.   

“The appointment of Alex and Neil will strengthen the investment operations of the Bureau of Asset Management,” said Scott Evans, CIO of the New York City Pension Funds. “Alex and Neil are ethical and sophisticated investment managers and I am excited to see them take on new roles as part of senior leadership.”

Evans himself is fairly new on the job. With the January 1, 2014 turnover of the city’s administration, much of the internal pension investment staff changed as well. In May, then-newly elected Comptroller Scott Stringer appointed Evans as CIO—a title he previously held at TIAA-CREF’s retirement services division.

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