David Holmgren has been dislodged from his post as CIO at Hartford HealthCare, which he has held for the past 12 years. He and his investment staff are being replaced by Morgan Stanley.
The $4.2 billion in pension and endowment assets he oversaw have enjoyed good returns. In fiscal year 2021, for instance, the plan advanced 33.5%, besting the stock market. Holmgren could not be reached for comment.
HHC issued a statement that didn’t say why it had embarked on what it called a “reorganization.” The statement says, “Hartford HealthCare’s investment funds have performed well over many years. The investment team’s acumen has earned national recognition from investment industry experts.”
The statement from the health care plan adds: “Our portfolio will benefit from Morgan Stanley’s deep bench of research analysts, market strategists and investment managers.”
In response to Holmgren’s departure, the plan’s investment committee, including Wesleyan University CIO Anne Martin and General Electric CIO Harshal Chaudhari, has resigned, panel chair David Roth told Institutional Investor, which broke the story about Holmgren’s removal and quoted Roth as calling the move “unacceptable.” The committee members could not be reached.
Holmgren, who came to HHC from the Connecticut treasurer’s office, where he was principal investment officer, has long been known for his innovative spirit.
His strategy was centered on active management of the portfolio, rather than depending on index funds. During strong markets, Holmgren’s HHC favored undervalued assets. His approach also featured a large commitment to hedge funds.
“I firmly believe our record demonstrates the value-add of active asset management,” he told CIO last year. “These markets are way too risky to be flying on autopilot, and the best way to control market risks is to be actively allocated.”