SACRAMENTO, Calif. (HedgeWorld.com)–Richard J. Hayes, who headed the US$20 billion alternative investment program at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, will leave the pension fund to join Oak Hill Partners as a managing partner.

At Oak Hill, a US$10 billion private equity and hedge fund manager, Mr. Hayes will serve as president and chief executive of an as-yet unnamed new fund of funds venture.

A spokesman for Oak Hill said the position was new and that Mr. Hayes would be joining the firm “shortly.”

Mr. Hayes has been the public face of CalPERS Alternative Investment Management program since being named senior investment officer in 2001. He joined the US$160 billion pension fund in 1998. Under his direction, CalPERS made approximately US$15.5 billion in private equity investments worldwide, according to a news release from the fund.

He helped develop CalPERS’ US$500 million Corporate Partners Program and its US$500 million California Biotechnology program. He also helped start the CalPERS California Initiative, an investment program focusing on underserved urban and rural markets in the state, according to a CalPERS news release.

In 2000, Mr. Hayes was named chairman of the Toronto-based Institutional Limited Partners Association, a not-for-profit organization formed to promote research and education about private equity investments among pension funds, foundations, endowments, insurance companies and other institutional investors.

“Rick has positioned the pension fund well to effectively manage our AIM program in the future,” CalPERS Chief Investment Officer Mark Anson said in a statement. “He has led a multi-year restructuring of our private equity program that will serve as a foundation for future success, and he has left behind an outstanding team and strategic approach that will help us deliver strong returns for the fund and our members. I will miss him deeply.”

Since its inception, CalPERS Alternative Investment Management program has exceeded its benchmark by 7%, according to fund officials.

CClair@HedgeWorld.com

Contact Robert F. Keane with questions or comments at:

bkeane@ia-mag.com.