The Maine Public Employees Retirement System (MainePERS) picked its deputy investment chief to take over the top job this week.
During his six years as deputy chief, James Bennett worked closely with team members to help build out the plan’s alternatives allocation, which grew to 55% from 35% during his time at the fund. MainePERS, which is worth $14.6 billion, has an aggregate 82% funded ratio.
He was also acting investment chief when former CIO Andrew Sawyer stepped down in November after 12 years. The search for the new investment chief, conducted by Hudepohl & Associates, started in February.
“With the growing complexity of pension regulations and the immediate and long-term challenges of investing in global financial markets, his knowledge and expertise will be of significant value in advancing MainePERS’s investment program,” said Sandy Matheson, executive director of the state pension plan.
Previously, Bennett worked for two decades as a finance professor at universities, including the University of Massachusetts Boston and University of Southern Maine.