New CIO for Pennsylvania’s $25B Pension

The state’s employee pension plan has tapped Bryan Lewis to begin his post at the end of June.

PSERS_Bryan LewisBryan Lewis, Incoming CIO, SERSThe Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) has hired a new CIO from the Illinois state universities’ pension funds.

Bryan Lewis will lead the $25 billion fund, succeeding Thomas Brier who announced his plans to retire on June 24, 2016.

“Bryan’s strong public pension experience and investment background stood out to the board,” said David Fillman, SERS board chairman.

The chairman continued that Lewis will be a right fit to guide SERS through “funding challenges while working to strike a balance between generating returns through all sorts of markets and being responsive to taxpayers’ desire for transparency.”

Lewis has been serving as executive director of the $20 billion Illinois State Universities Retirement System for a little more than a year. There, he leads fund administration and investment management for two defined benefit plans and one defined contribution plan.

Previously, Lewis spent six years as manager for the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer working on the state’s retirement systems. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Maryland College Park.

Recruiting firm Korn Ferry helped conduct the search.

Outgoing CIO Brier has spent 16 years in various senior investment positions at SERS. He was tapped as investment chief in December 2014, replacing Tony Clark, who was investigated for potential illegal behavior during his tenure.

Clark had allegedly misled the pension board about a $250 million investment with Tiger Asset Management and trading on his own account using the fund’s information.

In September 2014, Clark was cleared of all illegal allegations. He currently works as an investment adviser for individuals and institutional capital in Virginia.

Related: Ex-Pennsylvania Pension CIO Cleared of Allegations