MassPRIM names hedge fund, low-vol chief

Eric Nierenberg was named senior investment officer, hedge funds and low volatility strategies, at Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, Boston, confirmed Michael Trotsky, executive director and chief investment officer.

It is a new position. Mr. Nierenberg will start part time in December and full time in January, and will report to Mr. Trotsky.

Mr. Nierenberg will oversee the $50 billion pension fund's hedge fund investments as it continues its move to mostly direct investments from funds of funds.

About 65% of the $5 billion hedge fund portfolio is in 21 direct investments, a number that is expected to grow to 25 to 30; the pension fund will continue to have 15% of the portfolio in funds of funds.

Mr. Trotsky said PRIM wanted to hire someone to provide a “fresh look” at the asset class and believes Mr. Nierenberg provides that with his quantitative and analytic background and a Ph.D. in business economics from Harvard University. “He's uniquely qualified to study and investigate how our current slew of hedge fund managers add value and evaluate whether we are getting what we need in volatility reduction,” Mr. Trotsky said.

Mr. Nierenberg was a portfolio manager at Lee Munder Capital Group. Greg Mulready, director of sales and marketing, did not return a telephone call about his replacement.

Mr. Trotsky is also looking to hire a senior investment officer, private equity, by the end of the year. Wayne Smith left PRIM in July 2011 to join Pathway Capital Management.