Wood Bolts CalPERS for Hedge Fund Firm

January 28, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Hedge fund manager Capital Z Asset Management has landed an investment executive from the nation's largest public pension plan as its Chief Executive Officer.

Christianna Wood, CalPERS (California Public Employees’ Retirement System) Senior Investment Officer, Global Equity, will join the firm on March 17th, according to a press release. She will leave CalPERS in mid-February.

Eric Baggesen, Senior Portfolio Manager, will succeed her as Acting Senior Investment Officer, Global Equity, according to CalPERS.

CalPERS notes that, since joining CalPERS in October 2002, Wood, 48, oversaw strong performance throughout the asset class – managing as much as $150 billion in domestic and international public equities, including a $7.5 billion hedge fund portfolio and $7 billion in activist corporate governance funds. A CalPERS press release also notes that, under her leadership, the $237 billion pension fund’s Global Equity unit added internal capabilities in domestic small cap, international and emerging markets; increased in-house staff management of equity capital; and managed more than $5 billion in domestic enhanced indexed and other leading edge strategies.

“Christy helped CalPERS pioneer many new investments and oversaw over $150 billion of assets dedicated to global equities as well as many of the pension groups’ hedge fund allocations,” said Laurence Cheng, Chairman of Capital Z Asset Management. “We are extremely pleased that Christy has decided to join Capital Z Asset Management. Her achievements, experience and knowledge of hedge funds will be instrumental in taking CZAM to the next level.”

She joined CalPERS from Denver Investment Advisors in Colorado, where she served as a Principal and Portfolio Manager and Director of Value Strategies. She also worked earlier as a principal and portfolio manager at two previous organizations where she managed investment teams and institutional portfolios of small- and mid-cap companies.

"Christy has done an outstanding job for us, and we're going to miss her," said CalPERS Chief Investment Officer Russell Read. "She's superbly skilled and has managed a huge, complex portfolio with great finesse and grace, resulting in great performance. We wish her all the best in her new role with Capital Z."

Management Buyout

Just last week Capital Z Investment Partners LLC announced the completion of a management buyout of its hedge fund sponsorship business (in partnership with Paine & Partners LLC, a San FranciscoNew York private equity firm). As a result of the transaction, Capital Z Asset Management was formed to continue and expand the hedge fund sponsorship activities that Capital Z began in 1998.

It was also announced today that Elizabeth Flisser, 34, a long standing partner at Capital Z, was promoted to President. She sits on the board of advisors for OneWorld Investments, LP., Cedarview Capital Management, L.P., Praesidis Advisors, LLC and Aviator Fund Management, L.P. Prior to Capital Z, Ms. Flisser was a financial analyst at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in the Financial Institutions Group and Equity Capital Markets.