Chief Investment Officer - The Power 100

Chief Investment Officer - For the world's largest asset owners

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For the world's largest asset owners

The Power 100


31
Christopher Ailman
CIO, California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS)
Sacramento, California
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Ailman leads America’s second-largest pension and possesses an unrivaled network of pension executives from around the country and the world. He serves on several global boards and groups, among them Triple C—a group of global mega-fund CIOs—plus the International Corporate Governance Network’s board and the Pacific Pension Institute. But ever the gentleman—aiCIO actually missed the original interview for this profile and never heard an ill word from him—Ailman is most interested in shining the spotlight elsewhere. “Rick Dahl of MOSERS, he has to be on your list,” he insists. “Of course, he’d rather be on the cover of Turkey Hunting Magazine or something, but he is the man.” A conversation on strategic partnerships quickly turns to talk of Britt Harris. “Britt’s just very bold. In this kind of market, long-beta only doesn’t work well, so he’s trying to be more nimble. He took a relatively sleepy fund and made it a real avant garde shop.” When aiCIO finally gets Ailman to talk about himself and CalSTRS, he lets us in on the “coolest” thing they’re doing: internalizing more asset management. “The board approved managing more assets in-house,” he says excitedly. “When we broke with CalPERS in 1983, we were 100% external. Where many are internal and moving external, we were born external and moving internal. We’re approaching 50% of assets internally managed now.” And that—along with the fact that he has turned CalSTRS from a perennial third-quartile fund into a top-third one in the last decade—is more than enough reason for Ailman to join (perhaps) Dahl and Harris on this list. –KPM

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