United Nations Appoints New CIO

Sudhir Rajkumar from World Bank Treasury to replace Carolyn Boykin.

The United Nations has completed its search for the CIO position of its $62 billion staff pension fund, and announced it will hire Sudhir Rajkumar of India. The position is currently held by Carolyn Boykin, who reapplied for the job, according to Farhan Aziz Haq, deputy spokesman of UN secretary-general António Guterres.

Haq was asked if the decision was made because of performance and he responded, “It is the Secretary-General’s prerogative to fill senior posts, and many senior posts have been advertised while there is still an incumbent in the post.”

During Boykin’s three-year tenure as CIO, the total asset value of the UN’s staff pension fund has grown by more than $9 billion. So far this year, the fund has returned 13.49%, edging out its benchmark, which has returned 13.23% year to date, according to the UN website. Boykin has led the UNJSPF pioneering efforts in ESG investing across all asset classes, which is consistent with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, according to the website. The Fund received an AAA rating for climate change from Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP) in 2017.

“I am very pleased that the fund has achieved record highs, fully funded status and the benefit is secure, and I wish the next CIO every success in his new endeavor,” said Boykin.

The job posting said it was seeking applicants with “over 20 years of proven progressively responsible experience in the management of economic, social security and/or financial policies and activities.” 

The job description included leading the fund’s investment operations in terms of strategy and policy analysis, asset allocation, as well as exercising discretionary authority over the investment of the assets of the fund, and being responsible for the overall investment policy and oversight and management of the investments of the fund.

Boykin, whose official title is Representative of the Secretary-General, was named CIO of the UNJSPF in October of 2014 by then-Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.  Prior to joining the UN, Boykin was president of the Bolton Partners Investment Consulting Group for 10 years, and before that, she was CIO of the Maryland State Retirement System.

Rajkumar currently heads the global pension advisory program at the World Bank Treasury, a role in which he has provided advisory services to the National Pension Fund of the Republic of Korea, Ministry of Finance of Brunei Darussalam, South Africa’s Government Employees Pension Fund, KWAP — Malaysia’s second largest pension fund and the Nazarbayev University Endowment in Kazakhstan — in addition to other public investment institutions globally, according to a UN press release.  

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