A magnetically separable, active nickel hydroxide (Brønsted base) coated nanocobalt ferrite catalyst has been developed for oxidation of alcohols. High surface area was achieved by tuning the particle size with surfactant. The surface area of 120.94 m2 g–1 has been achieved for the coated nanocobalt ferrite. Improved catalytic activity and selectivity were obtained by synergistic effect of transition metal hydroxide (basic hydroxide) on nanocobalt ferrite. The nanocatalyst oxidizes primary and secondary alcohols efficiently (87%) to corresponding carbonyls in good yields.