Fort Worth Employees’ Retirement Fund Gets a New Executive Director

Benita Falls Harper, who’s been serving as interim since December, was unanimously elected by the board.

Benita Falls Harper

The new executive director for the Fort Worth Employees’ Retirement Fund is Benita Falls Harper, who has served as its top lawyer and interim chief.

Harper was chosen unanimously by the board, the organization said. She had been the $2.3 billion plan’s interim executive director since December, when former head Joelle Mevi left for undisclosed reasons. Harper was also the organization’s legal counsel since July 2017.

Todd Cox, who chairs the Texas-based fund’s board of trustees, said her diverse experience in public pensions, law, and municipal government will strengthen the fund’s direction.

At her now-official role, Harper will handle various levels of administration such as board policy implementation, investment oversight, benefits administration, stakeholder outreach, and staff development, said the fund.

Before the pension plan, Harper was a judge for Fort Worth’s Southwest Municipal Court. She was also an attorney with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, the Fort Worth City Attorney’s office, and the Fort Worth Human Resources Department. Harper is also a former research editor for the Houston Law Review.

The Fort Worth Employees’ Retirement Fund’s asset allocation as of March 31 was 65.1% growth strategies (growth and high growth), 15% capital preservation, 9.86% diversification, 7.60% inflation, 1.63% liquidity, and 0.22% liquidating strategies.

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