Chief Investment Officer
The State of Connecticut Treasurer's Office, Pension Fund Management Division is hiring a strategic senior investment professional to lead the Division as Chief Investment Officer (CIO) responsible for day-to-day administration and advising the Treasurer on the investment of approximately $41 billion in assets.
As sole trustee of six state pension funds and nine trust funds (known collectively as the Connecticut Retirement Plans & Trust Funds (CRPTF)), the Treasurer is responsible for overall policy, planning and general administration and management of the assets for retirement plans serving approximately 296,000 state and municipal employees, teachers, retirees, and survivors, as well as trust funds that support academic programs, grants, and initiatives throughout the state.
The PFM Division is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the CRPTF and assists the Treasurer and IAC to develop investment policy and asset allocation strategies, supervise and monitor the performance of investment managers and consultants, and source and diligence new investment opportunities and strategies. The Division also supports the Treasurer in the analysis of plan liabilities.
The CIO, appointed by the Treasurer with the consent of the Investment Advisory Council, leads the PFM Division and is responsible and accountable for the CRPTF investment program. The CIO leads a team of 25.
External consulting firms providing specific research and analytical expertise are retained to augment the Division’s internal resources. Meketa Investment Group currently serves as the general consultant. The Bank of New York Mellon serves as the custodian and Deutsche Bank is responsible for marketing the securities lending program.
At December 31, 2020, the CRPTF net asset value was $40.9 billion. The Teachers’ Retirement Fund (TERF), with approximately $20.5 billion of assets under management, is the largest participating plan. The State Employees’ Retirement Fund (SERF) and the Connecticut Municipal Employees’ Retirement Fund (CMERF) have approximately $15.1 billion and $3.1 billion of assets, respectively.
In August 2020, Treasurer Wooden launched the Connecticut Inclusive Investment Initiative, a new emerging and diverse manager program also known as Ci3. The program will increase allocations to diverse managers across all asset classes, provide a pathway for growth within the program, and host an annual conference to spotlight the best emerging diverse talent in the industry.
The Treasury’s corporate governance activities are guided by the core principle that the exercise of shareholder rights, either through the voting of proxies or the filing of shareholder resolutions, is central to the fiduciary obligation to enhance the CRPTF’s investment value.
In addition to the voting of proxies, the Treasurer also actively engages directly with companies on corporate governance best practices in an effort to positively impact shareholder value.
The CIO is appointed by the Treasurer with the approval of the IAC. Some of the CIO’s key responsibilities and duties include:
- Generate strong investment results within the framework of the asset allocation, and risk and return parameters of the IPS.
- Ensure the efficient and effective operation of the CRPTF in accordance with its mission, vision and core values, and state and federal law.
- Advise and confer with the Treasurer and IAC on financial, economic, and political trends and developments affecting the CRPTF.
- Formulate and make recommendations to the Treasurer and IAC in conjunction with outside advisors, on all aspects of fund management including investment policy, asset allocation, risk and return parameters, rebalancing, manager selection and termination, etc.
- Manage the annual reporting cycle and the preparation of the PFM Division’s reports as part of the Annual Report of the Treasurer.
- Serve as the Treasurer’s designee on boards and commissions.
- Represent CRPTF as a subject matter expert and interact with elected officials, media, and other stakeholders, as necessary.
- The CIO will manage the PFM team to:
- Monitor and evaluate investment managers and service providers to ensure compliance with performance expectations, guidelines, and contracts, and resolve issues, as necessary.
- Ensure back office operations are managed effectively and efficiently, and that proper controls are in place to safeguard assets.
- Negotiate and recommend contracts for the Treasurer’s consideration with general partners, investment managers, and service providers and coordinate legal review with counsel.
- Establish and maintain relationships with current and prospective investment managers, service providers, and peers.
As part of the ongoing effort to generate strong risk-adjusted investment returns and maintain a strong professional team culture, the Treasurer has identified the following Key Objectives to measure, in part, the CIO’s performance.
- Review and make asset allocation recommendations to increase the probability of achieving the Plan’s investment return objectives.
- Work aggressively to achieve private target allocations across the portfolio while maintaining vintage year diversification.
- Lead the establishment of a private co-investment program.
- Expand the emerging and diverse manager program, also known as Ci3, to include private equity, real estate, and infrastructure asset classes.
- Continue efforts to strengthen the organizational culture to enhance team collaboration and engagement towards achieving strong investment results.
- Expand professional development programs to improve the skills and competencies of the pension management staff.
- Recommend strategies and develop and implement plans to retain key investment staff.
- Maintain a strong working relationship with IAC members.
- Review and evaluate the effectiveness of investment operations and, if necessary, make process changes to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
- Supervise and monitor the Technology Task Force evaluating solutions to upgrade the technology infrastructure; present recommendations to improve operational efficiencies.
The CIO is a thought partner and trusted colleague of the Treasurer. The individual must align and support the Treasurer’s investment philosophy and policy objectives including his initiatives on diversity, inclusion and ESG. The CIO must have a strong work ethic, be able to maintain a strategic focus, and manage complexity in a changing environment that engages with multiple constituencies.
In addition to being intellectually sharp and curious and a critical thinker, other important skills and competencies include:
- Excellent judgment and strong analytical and problem-solving skills to identify issues pro-actively and present creative, practical solutions.
- Confidence and courage to put forward and defend ideas and recommendations while being open to adjusting them based on input from others.
- Social and interpersonal skills to build consensus and negotiate compromise effectively.
- Interpersonal skills to engage and build positive relationships with the Treasurer, IAC members, direct reports, outside advisors, investment managers, and others.
- Ability to conceptualize and articulate complex financial and investment information in a manner that is tailored to and understood by various groups.
- Poise and presence, and attention to detail, to expertly represent the CRPTF.
As a chief investment executive, the CIO must be a leader of the highest integrity who takes ownership of the investment program, is committed to delivering investment results that meet or exceed benchmarks, and values transparency and strong governance.
A confident, yet modest leader, is desired. The ideal candidate is one who empowers people and leads with a participative and collaborative style to drive engagement and results while establishing clear goals supported by accountabilities. This is a highly visible position and the CIO must understand and respect the requirements of operating in the public sector.