Stuart Bernstein, director of the $2 billion emerging managers program at Texas Teacher Retirement System, Austin, is leaving the $130 billion fund Tuesday.
Mr. Bernstein will join former TRS colleague Steve LeBlanc at Texas-focused value real estate manager CapRidge Partners, said a news release from the retirement system.
The teachers' fund has hired due diligence advisory firm Lenox Park to “to ensure minimal disruption during this important transition period,” the release stated.
“TRS is working with Lenox Park to fill (Mr.) Bernstein's position,” said TRS spokeswoman Juliana Fernandez Helton, in an e-mail. “Lenox Park is serving in an advisory role capacity. We have no further details as to whether the position will be filled internally or whether we'll be looking outside TRS.”
Mr. Bernstein has been in his position for six years and “has done an outstanding job developing a world-class emerging manager program for TRS,” said Brian Guthrie, TRS's executive director, in the release. “Now, we look forward to building upon that success and continuing to be recognized as a leader in this space.”
Mr. LeBlanc, who co-founded CapRidge after leaving the teachers' fund in April 2012, did not return a call seeking confirmation of Mr. Bernstein's hire and what his role will be.
Lenox Park conducted an audit of the emerging managers program for the Texas Teachers' board in 2013, said Jason Lamin, managing partner of Lenox Park, in an interview.
“We probably know TRS's emerging managers program better than anybody and when Stuart announced that he would be leaving, we were asked to help with the transition and in finding his replacement,” Mr. Lamin said.
“Everyone at TRS from the board down wanted to make sure that they were very thoughtful about filling the director's role for the emerging manager program. It's an ongoing business that can't afford a disruption,” Mr. Lamin said.
Mr. Lamin said his firm is reviewing potential candidates now and a decision about whether to use an external executive recruiting firm has not been made.