New Mexico’s Pension Fund Loses Deputy

Two-time Forty Under Forty member Julian Baca has left the $14.8 billion fund after nearly nine years.

New Mexico’s $14.8 billion pension fund is on the hunt for a new deputy CIO to replace Julian Baca.

JulianBacaArt: Chris BuzelliThe Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA)’s CIO Jon Grabel confirmed the two-time Forty Under Forty member resigned on July 2. He is to take on an economic research position at his alma mater, the University of New Mexico.

Baca, who began as an assistant portfolio manager, spent nearly nine years at the fund.

The search to find Baca’s replacement has already begun, Grabel said.

“Our goal is to find a great person—a best athlete-type of investor,” Grabel told CIO. “We’re willing to take the time to be methodical and prudent in our search.”

According to the job posting, the second-in-command will be responsible for assisting Grabel with implementing investment policies as well as making recommendations across strategies and asset classes.

The position would also involve speaking on investment-related materials in front of the PERA board and the state legislature.

New Mexico PERA also said it is looking for strategic thinkers who have people management skills as well as extensive experience managing complex and diversified investment portfolios.

The ideal candidate would have a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree in finance or related subjects and four years of experience in institutional investing, pension, or trust fund management. A Chartered Financial Analyst certification could also be required. 

The salary for the Santa Fe-based position would range from $77,000 to $134,000.

According to New Mexico PERA’s documents, the fund beat its benchmark for the latest 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year periods. It has also reported a 9.36% return since inception.

Related: 2012 Forty Under Forty: Julian Baca; 2013 Forty Under Forty: Julian Baca; New Mexico Pension Appoints New CIO