SAN FRANCISCO – Analyst Brewster Wyckoff was slated to leave the San Francisco City and County Employees’ Retirement System’s private equity program in mid-June to advise a local firm that invests in international turnarounds, buyouts and distressed debt.
Ms. Wyckoff, who had been with the San Francisco pension for more than four years, applied for her new job through a newspaper classified ad. She declined to name her new employer, however, pending the completion of legal paperwork related to her post.
Ms. Wyckoff said she resigned out of growing frustration that she was unable to spend more time with the pension’s roster of general partners. As San Francisco grew to its current $10 billion total pool, so did its administrative requirements, which forced Ms. Wyckoff to reduce her interaction with the venture firms that San Francisco backs. Also, with only a two-member private equity staff consisting of Ms. Wyckoff and Senior Investment Officer Glen Schwartz, the pension had turned increasingly to funds-of-funds, further distancing Ms. Wyckoff from the pension’s G.P.s.
“I want to go out and be in more direct contact with the general partnerships; I’m especially interested in identifying emerging managers,” she said.
A New Beginning
In her new position, My Wyckoff will work as a consultant to a small firm that is raising its first institutional fund.
In keeping with San Francisco’s hiring practices for Ms. Wyckoff’s position, which is a civil service job, the pension will first review a list of qualified candidates who have passed an exam. Mr. Schwartz said he hoped to fill the vacancy before Ms. Wyckoff’s departure to give the new analyst a chance to learn the ropes during the overlap.
Her successor will focus principally on monitoring the pension’s alternative investments; however, an assistant has been hired to take on some administrative tasks, Mr. Schwartz said.
The pension has a 12% allocation target for alternatives and currently has 7% of its pool invested in the asset class.