Directors Guild Pension Hires USC’s Edgar Smith to be First CIO

Smith, a hedge fund and U.S. equity expert, has been a critical part of the University of Southern California’s endowment.

The Directors Guild of America—Producer Pension & Health Plans has named Edgar Smith as its first CIO. Effective September 6, Smith oversees the plans’ more than $4 billion in assets. He joins the DGA from University of Southern California Endowment, where he was a managing director.

Smith is a hedge fund and U.S. equity expert who has been involved in all aspects of the manager evaluation process for prospective and existing investments during his 10 years at USC. His experience includes allocating assets across a broad pool of strategies including private equity, venture capital, hedge funds, public equity and fixed income.

He earned a B.A. in economics and history at Yale University and an MBA in finance from Columbia Business School, and is a CFA charterholder. During his career, he has also worked at JP Morgan, PAAMCO and Lasair Capital.


“The board of trustees and I are thrilled that Edgar will be joining us and we look forward to working with Edgar to further our goal of ensuring the long‐term financial health of the Pension and Health Plans for our members,” Lisa Read, CEO of the Directors Guild of America—Producer Pension & Health, said in a statement.


Edgar will work with the board of trustees’ finance committee and the plans’ investment consultant, Cambridge Associates.


“As our portfolios have grown in size and complexity, Edgar’s experience and extensive network of managers that he has covered will provide invaluable support,” Jay Roth, chair of the board of trustees, said in a statement.


In 2019, Smith was named to CIO magazine’s NextGen list, which spotlights talented and inspiring asset allocators who show a strong ability to become potential game changers.


“Edgar has been a critical member of the investment team since he joined USC,” former USC CIO Lisa Mazzocco said at the time. “He approaches his responsibilities in a diligent and thoughtful manner. And he always makes the time to work with our student interns and mentor our junior analysts.”

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