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Kenwood's treasure lures McCook

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Mike McCook, the former senior investment officer for real estate at the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), has found new employment.

He is now co-owner of a company in San Francisco called Kenwood Investments. The other co-owner is Darius Anderson.

Anderson thinks McCook will be a big asset to the company. He said: "We are very excited to have Mike with us. His contacts with institutional investors will help us grow our company in the future."

McCook was brought into the company to head up its new investment funds business. He will be leading the charge for investors to participate in Kenwood Investments Fund I.

The fund should be up and running by the end of
the year. The total equity raise will be in the neighbourhood of $150m-200m. The investment strategy would be to invest in new development projects
in California.

There is one investor that McCook will not be able to tap into - CalPERS. As part of his leaving deal, he's agreed not to ask the fund for capital for at least 12 months.This is a fairly standard operating procedure of many pension funds around the country. Industry experts are predicting that McCook's replacement at CalPERS will be someone who is not currently employed at CalPERS. This has been its usual method.

Kenwood Investments has an investment strategy of getting involved in a mixture of residential and mixed-use urban infill projects. The company usually gets started by taking the project through the entitlement process. In some cases it brings in venture partners to complete the project.

One of its most recent projects is the redevelopment of Treasure Island in San Francisco. This 400-acre project will have mixed-use features. It will include 2,800 market rate and affordable housing units, around 600 hotel rooms and 100,000 to 200,000 square feet of retail and office space.

Kenwood Investments is active in California. This would include the markets of Southern California, Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area.

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