Morty Schaja, president and COO of Baron Capital Group, and Mitch Rubin, portfolio manager of the Baron Fifth Avenue Growth and iOpportunity funds, are leaving the firm in April to start an as-yet-unnamed hedge fund, Mr. Schaja said. The new company, to be based in New York, will use a core investment strategy that invests in growth companies on a longer-term investment horizon than most investors, with the additional opportunistic bets permitted within a hedge fund, Mr. Schaja said. Recruiting is going on now to build an investment team and support staff with the expectation that the fund will launch in the summer, he added. On March 3, Ronald Baron, CEO and president of Baron Funds and chairman and CEO of Baron Capital Group, assumed management of the $96.5 million Baron Fifth Avenue Growth Fund with portfolio managers Andrew Peck and Cliff Greenberg, while Mr. Baron and Michael Lippert, a portfolio manager promoted from analyst, are managing the $146 million Baron iOpportunity Fund, according to a statement on Baron Capital's website. Messrs. Pack, Greenberg and Baron will keep their existing mutual fund management assignments. The firm is searching for a new portfolio manager for the Baron Fifth Avenue Growth Fund, according to the statement. Mr. Baron didn't return a call seeking more information about Mr. Schaja's replacement.
Francis Brenner was named portfolio manager-private equity at the $78.6 billion State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Madison. He will help oversee $1.7 billion in private equity. Mr. Brenner replaces Thomas P. Olson, who left last May to become director of investments at the $2.2 billion University of Wisconsin Foundation, Madison. Mr. Brenner was a vice president at Morgan Stanley Capital Group. Morgan Stanley officials declined to comment on a replacement, spokesman Chad Peterson said. Also, Chris Prestigiacomo was promoted to portfolio manager of SWIB's $54 million Wisconsin private equity and $362 million Wisconsin private debt portfolios. He is replacing Monica A. Jaehnig, who retires in June. She is assisting in the transition, said Vicki Hearing, public information officer. Mr. Prestigiacomo was assistant portfolio manager; SWIB has no plans to fill that position. James Vander Meer also was hired as investment analyst, a new position. He was vice president in commercial lending at Amcore Bank.
Suzanne Donohoe was named head of North American client business at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, starting in April. She replaces Kaysie Uniacke, who was named head of GSAM's fiduciary business, a new position, GSAM said in a statement. Ms. Donohoe is co-head of GSAM Europe. Stephen Fitzgerald, currently head of GSAM's investment management division in Asia, was named head of GSAM International, which includes Ms. Donohoe's previous responsibilities as well as his Asian duties. Mr. Fitzgerald will work with Ted Sotir, who remains co-head of GSAM Europe.
Vincent M. Williams was named director, institutional sales, at Allegiant Asset Management, focusing on the public fund market, said spokeswoman Kelly Wagner Amen. He replaced Chris Henderson, who left the company, she said; she did not know Mr. Henderson's plans. Mr. Williams was director of marketing for the Midwest and Southwest regions at Nordea Investment Management, according to an Allegiant news release. George Friesen, Nordea's head of North American sales, said Nordea is searching for someone to fill the vacancy.
Denver Public Schools Retirement System postponed its search for a new executive director until mid- to late May, confirmed John MacPherson, interim executive director. The $2.5 billion plan initiated its search after Robert Scott announced his retirement in October; he left Dec. 31. Mr. MacPherson, former communications director for the Denver school system, said a candidate had been selected last month but he declined to take the job. Mr. MacPherson said the plan would likely reopen the search near the end of the state legislative session, giving lawmakers a chance to clarify issues surrounding the stalled merger between the system and the $30.6 billion Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association. Talk broke down over cost differences in October. Updates on the search are available on the system's website, www.dpsrs.org. EFL Associates is assisting.
Christopher Paolella was named director of consultant relations and institutional sales at Trusco Capital Management, according to a Trusco press release. Mr. Paolella was on the firm's consulting relations sales team specializing in institutional sales. Brad Ball, executive vice president and director of institutional sales, had handled those responsibilities.