Ex-California treasurer to head new Canyon-Johnson fund

Phil Angelides, who recently was beaten by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Golden State gubernatorial race, will be tasked with expanding Canyon-Johnson’s ‘green’ investments in urban markets across the US.

Canyon Capital Realty Advisors has hired former California State Treasurer Phil Angelides as a principal and chairman of the Canyon-Johnson Urban Communities Fund, a newly created partnership between Canyon and Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

In his new role as chairman of the fund, Angelides will be responsible for expanding the firm’s green initiatives in urban locations in the US.

Angelides has experience in both private and public sectors in urban reinvestment, housing, green investment and smart growth. In 2004, Angelides launched the Green Wave environmental investment initiative, which called on the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) to invest $1.5 billion in cutting-edge technologies and environmentally friendly companies and reduce energy consumption by their massive real estate holdings. Angelides served as California State Treasurer from 1999 to 2007 and also served on the boards of CalPERS and CalSTRS. He was the Democratic nominee for Governor of California in 2006—campaigning on an environmental platform—which he lost to current Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Prior to his election to public office, Angelides headed his own real estate investment firm that managed nearly $500 million in construction and planned and built communities which provided more than 15,000 new homes.

The newly created Canyon-Johnson Urban Communities Fund focuses on acquiring, improving and greening residential rental and mixed-use properties in urban locations across the US. The fund will invest more than $2 billion to acquire more than 10,000 existing residential rental units in the US and will upgrade the properties, as well as add amenities and improve management.

The fund will also target “greening” of the properties through energy efficient improvements and the use of sustainable materials and practices. Angelides will be responsible for Canyon’s new investment initiatives in areas such as urban infill, smart growth, green building and infrastructure.