Detroit Pension Fund Seeks Deputy CIO

The Retirement System of the City of Detroit is looking for an investment officer to support CIO Ryan Bigelow.

The Retirement System of the City of Detroit is looking to hire a deputy chief investment officer, according to a job posting on the pension fund’s website.

The RSCD is comprised of two separate retirement systems: the General Retirement System and the Police and Fire Retirement System, each of which is managed by their respective board of trustees.  Each retirement system also has two distinct plans: a legacy traditional defined benefit plan and a new hybrid defined benefit plan. 

The plan, while still underfunded, is on improved footing in the wake of its 2013-14 bankruptcy, which suspended the city’s contribution requirements. And the city itself is in better shape, with both Moody’s Investors Services and Standard & Poor’s this month giving it credit upgrades, to just two notches below investment grade. The ratings now are Ba2 and BB, respectively.

The deputy CIO will be responsible for managing and evaluating the fixed income and alternative investment programs in accordance with the RSCD’s investment policy statement, as well as applicable federal and state laws and regulations. The deputy CIO is also responsible for monitoring and due diligence of the equity and real estate portfolios, and providing advice and recommendations regarding all investments to the investment committee, executive director and board of trustees.

The main responsibilities will be to identify, review and evaluate prospective investment opportunities, as well as coordinate portfolio review and due diligence meetings, and prepare agendas and meeting notes. The deputy CIO will also be expected to monitor and manage the portfolio of existing real estate investments to ensure compliance with limited partnership agreements and other contracts. The deputy CIO will also support CIO Ryan Bigelow with respect to ongoing due diligence of the private equity hedge fund portfolios.

Additional duties include, among others:

  • Developing internal and external reports on investment strategy and portfolio performance.
  • Assisting senior management with the use of risk analysis and compliance projects.
  • Performing quantitative and qualitative due diligence on prospective investment opportunities, including evaluating past track records.
  • Monitoring and regularly reporting on investment activities of investment partners.
  • Developing framework for analyzing the performance of existing investments.
  • Overseeing the quarterly and annual valuation process for all real assets.
  • Overseeing the development of an internal database of existing investments.

The knowledge, skills and abilities required include property, asset and portfolio management practices and procedures; real estate finance and investment methods and concept; real estate valuation methods, internal rate of return, net present value capitalization techniques; financial forecasting; sensitivity analysis; hold/sell and rent growth analysis and auditing principles and techniques.

The position also requires a minimum of 10 years’ experience performing a variety of professional investment duties related to acquiring, organizing, directing, underwriting and managing portfolios of institutional investment real estate. Experience with institutional private equity and hedge fund investments is preferred. Candidates can apply for the role at

RCSD provides services and benefits to approximately 9,000 active members and 20,000 retirees and beneficiaries, and has approximately $5 billion in assets.

In January of 2020, the board of trustees of the Police and Fire Retirement System sued its own investment committee to prevent a 75% pay increase to the retirement system’s former Deputy CIO Kevin Kenneally.

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