Wood leaves CalPERS for revamped Cap Z

The former senior investment officer for global equity has resigned her position at the California pension to become chief executive of the recently spun-out hedge fund sponsor.

Christianna Wood, senior investment officer for global equity at the $237 billion (€160 billion) California Public Employees’ Retirement System, has resigned her position. Wood will be moving on to New York-based alternative asset manager Capital Z Asset Management where she will serve as chief executive officer.

Wood, 48, who has been with the pension giant since 2002, will depart in mid-February. Eric Baggesen, senior portfolio manager, will succeed Wood as acting senior investment officer for global equity.

During her five-year career at CalPERS, Wood was responsible for managing $150 billion in domestic and international public equities, including a $7.5 billion hedge fund portfolio and $7 billion in activist corporate governance funds. Wood joined CalPERS from Denver Investment Advisors in Colorado, where she served as a principal and portfolio manager and director of value strategies.

Capital Z Investment Partners announced yesterday the completion of a management buyout of its hedge fund sponsorship business in partnership with private equity firm Paine & Partners. Capital Z Asset Management was established following the transaction to continue and expand the hedge fund sponsorship activities begun by Capital Z in 1998. As part of this transaction, Capital Z's hedge fund management team and Paine & Partners will purchase the minority ownership hedge fund management company and general partnership interests held by the limited partners in two of Capital Z's alternative investment sponsorship funds, according to an announcement.

Paine & Partners itself recently announced its name change from Fox Paine Management III, which was a separate entity created out of veteran San Francisco private equity firm Fox Paine & Co. in the wake of acrimony between the two co-founders, Dexter Paine and Saul Fox.

In addition to its new chief executive, Capital Z also promoted Elizabeth Flisser, 34, to be president of Capital Z Asset Management. Flisser has been with Capital Z since 1999 and has been responsible the hedge fund sponsorship program, as well as the firm's structured product and strategic investments.

Capital Z Investment Partners is led by CEO Laurence Cheng.