The Maine Public Employees’ Retirement System will launch a search for a new chief investment officer in January, Executive Director Sandy Matheson said in an email.
Former Chief Investment Officer Andrew Sawyer left the fund in early November after 12 years. Prior to the role, he was a portfolio manager at TD Bank, and held positions at Raytheon Company, Prime Buchholz & Associates, Fuji Bank, and Manufacturers Hanover.
James Bennett has assumed the responsibility of acting CIO, according to the pension’s website.
“MainePERS will be starting a search for a new CIO in January with a background in pensions and related investment strategies,” Matheson said in an email. No other details were provided.
Candidates would apparently have to be comfortable with executing a mature alternative investment program. The pension’s strategic asset allocation consists of policy targets including: public equity (30%), private equity (15%), traditional credit (7.5%), alternative credit (5%), real estate (10%), infrastructure (10%), natural resources (5%), US government (7.5%), risk diversifiers (10%), and an allocation to cash with no specific target.
Sawyer recently led an effort to “rebalance” the portfolio by redeeming commitments from five to six private infrastructure managers, out of the pension’s 13 relationships, cherry-picking those to stay who ultimately were gauged to be “of the highest conviction.”
The portfolio’s market value was measured at $14.9 billion in September 2019.
The fund has performed well in relation to its benchmark recently. The figures are as follows:
Sawyer was not immediately available for comment.