“The four most expensive words in the English language are, ‘This time it’s different.’”

Sir John Templeton

2022 definitely felt different. The markets and macroeconomic climate were a challenge for all institutional investors, making the leadership and discipline of a CIO especially necessary.  Navigating the minefields of investing, recruiting, developing and retaining talent on their teams has all become harder as monetary policy, the world order and the nature of work all shift. And it was critical to be able to divine the significance of the year’s differences from rising interest rates to the dearth of IPOs boosting public markets and providing exits in private markets.

Leadership is most critical in turbulent times. In 2022, it was crucial for funds to hold to their investment convictions and their asset allocation plans. CIOs were called on to protect and guide their funds, use their authority to create positive results and share their experience to help others, collaborate and bring new ideas to light.

Leadership takes on many forms. This year, for our annual Power 100 list of CIO allocators, it is in the form of gravitas, adaptability, tenure, assets under management, and change-making. This is an alphabetical list.

As the devastation of the deepest years of the COVID-19 pandemic transitions to more disruption of workplaces and markets, many chief investment officers continue to maintain calm and guide their organizations through a changing landscape, making the best of the opportunities that surface.

There are few comparables when you measure against different board mandates in a universe that spans public pensions, corporate pensions, endowments, foundations, and sovereign wealth funds. Risk appetites, as well as the date to file returns, vary per plan, and per plan type, so the AUM figures we offer represent a ballpark figure of the funds’ assets in the 2nd half of the year.

Tenure, for this list, was rounded up to the nearest year, and our list, focuses on people who have been in their posts more than a year, or in a few cases, who were on this list before in a prior post. In most cases, we have left those who retired during the year off this list, although we do wish them well. Also in most cases, we did not feature  most of their replacements on this list. We want the new arrivals to have time to settle in.

It is no simple task to foresee the future, especially when no one knows how or when the economy will resume growing in sustainable ways, or how interest rates and wealth disparity may affect future markets.

Yet in reviewing our Power 100 list, one thing is for certain: Those who have made it to the CIO seat and on this 2022 list have mostly, and perhaps crucially, helped guide their funds through volatile times and are disciplined enough to navigate whatever is ahead. Albert Einstein said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” These chief investment officers are taking good advantage of each new day’s opportunities  for the sake of the millions of beneficiaries who rely on them.

Again this year, a special thank you to CalSTRS CIO Chris Ailman, who reached out to the international CIO Community to add a few names to the CIO Hall of Fame. The names may not appear on our Power 100, but there are a number of CIOs who deserve a full limelight before they head to a well-won retirement.

—The CIO Editorial Staff

*Some AUMs contain DB and/or DC dollars, filing dates vary per plan.

CIO Hall of Fame 2022 Inductee Class

CalSTRS CIO Christopher Ailman reflects back on CIOs from past generations who didn’t always receive the fanfare they deserved.

To show ultimate respect to the CIO who was likely the best of all time, I propose that going forward—given the sad loss of Yale University’s David Swensen—we rename this list the “David Swensen CIO Hall of Fame.” David dominated the endowment landscape for decades and, as I have noted previously, he wrote the book on the endowment model. Many have tried to copy David’s Yale model, but no one has truly succeeded. His legacy of leadership and investment acumen will live on through the number of endowment CIOs he mentored and developed throughout his career. In fact, if you were lucky enough to work under David Swensen, that meant you instantly received recognition on David Barrett’s CIO Recruitment List.

I have so much respect for David Swensen that I had put him on the Hall of Fame list first before he had even retired. He truly was our industry’s G.O.A.T.

With the Baby Boomer generation hitting retirement age, we are now seeing a growing number of veteran CIOs hanging it up and moving to an “encore career.” So, this year’s inductee list includes some of the recent Lifetime Achievement Award winners and other legendary names in the asset-owner community. The sole focus of this list is CIOs of asset owners.

The role of CIO is challenging in so many ways: the markets give you immediate feedback on your decisions, and those decisions can flip from genius to dumbbell and vice-versa in the blink of an eye. While that might happen in other professions, too, the fact that you’re responsible for millions and billions of other people’s money results in enormous pressure.

This list has reached its third year and needs a formal induction committee. I am looking for volunteers to help join CIO with vetting this list. We need input on CIOs at family offices and the sovereign wealth fund world. Family offices and smaller endowments have blossomed, yet often fly under the radar, operating quietly and discreetly. Count your blessings. I don’t want to blow their cover, but clearly some of those long-tenured CIOs deserve some recognition.

—Christopher Ailman

The 2022 Inductees into the Hall of Fame:

US Public Funds:

  • Bob Maynard
    Idaho Public Employee Retirement System
  • Mansco Perry
    Minnesota State Board of Investment
  • Ash Williams
    Florida State Board of Administation
  • Elizabeth B.A. Miller
    Kansas Public Employees Retirement System
  • Ron Schmitz
    Virginia Retirement System, (retiring in early 2023)
  • Liza Crisafi
    San Diego City Employees’ Retirement
  • Tom Tull
    Employees Retirement System of Texas
  • Bruce H. Cundick
    Utah Retirement Systems

Canadian Public Funds:

  • Mark Machin
    President and CEO of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
  • Michael Sabia
    President and CEO, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
  • Michael Nobrega
    President and CEO, Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System

UK Plans:

  • Peter Pereira Gray
    Managing Partner and CEO of Wellcome Trust investments team
  • Roger Gray
    CEO at USS Investment Management

Endowments:

  • Scott Malpass
    CIO and Vice President of the Notre Dame University endowment
  • Britt Harris
    CIO and President for Verizon Investment Management, Teacher Retirement System of Texas, and University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Management Co.

Foundations / Family Offices:

  • Rosalind Hewsenian (retiring in 2023)
    Helmsley Charitable Trust’
  • Robert Manilla
    Kresge Foundation
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