Reginald Tucker
New York State Common Retirement Fund

It’s been a difficult few years for hedge funds and public pension plans. A roaring equity market, disappointing returns for most hedge fund strategies and a focus on fees — at a time when public pension plans are coming under fire for the pressure their obligations put on state and local budgets — have created a toxic stew. Yet hedge fund investments, and the sources of alpha they can provide, remain important for institutional investors. Rather than reject the promise of hedge funds entirely, some forward-thinking institutions regard them not as an asset class but as one of many fund structures that can deliver differentiated forms of alpha.

Reginald Tucker is charged with finding just those sorts of atypical return opportunities for the $180 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, wherever they might be. A graduate of New York University’s Stern School of Business, where he earned a BA in business administration, Tucker began his career in 1997 as a trader with Citigroup in New York. He received his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania as a Robert Toigo Fellow, class of 2006. Upon graduation he managed money for a private investment fund before landing a job in 2010 as an investment officer in alternatives for the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds. With a mandate that included real estate, private equity and hedge funds, Tucker helped to implement the $29 billon pension system’s first hedge fund portfolio. He was also the in-house person responsible for building up the plan’s emerging-managers alternative investment program.

In 2013, Tucker, 40, joined New York State Common as senior investment officer for its opportunistic investment portfolio. He has an open mandate to commit capital across all asset classes and strategies — including using hedge funds.

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