Orin Kramer, chairman of the New Jersey State Investment Council, Trenton, is taking a leave of absence for family reasons, according to Acting Chairman Jonathan Berg.
Mr. Kramer, general partner of hedge fund Boston Provident Partners, is stepping aside as chairman of the 13-member council at least through its May 20 meeting, Mr. Berg said in a telephone interview.
Mr. Kramer didn't immediately return a voice mail message at his New York office.
A supporter of President Barack Obama and a domestic policy adviser in the Carter administration, Mr. Kramer was appointed to the council in 2002 by then-Gov. Jim McGreevey, a Democrat. Mr. Kramer's term expires in September.
The council sets policy for New Jersey's $68 billion public pension fund, according to the panel's website. Since 2006, under Mr. Kramer's direction, the committee has steered $9.9 billion into alternative investments, including $3 billion in hedge funds, according to the most recent monthly report.
Mr. Berg, the council's vice chairman, said he learned of Mr. Kramer's decision when he was asked to direct next week's council meeting by Ray Joseph, acting director of the state treasury's Division of Investment. William Clark, director of the investment division since 2005, resigned in February to become senior vice president and chief investment officer of the Federal Reserve System's office of employee benefits.
Through June 30, 2009, the pension system was underfunded by $46 billion, meaning the assets on hand were worth less than half the projected cost of the benefits already promised to members, actuary reports released earlier this year show.