NY State Brings in ex-Wall St CIO

Pension funds are still sailing pretty rough seas, but one of the largest in the US has a new skipper at the helm to navigate the choppy waters.

(July 30, 2012) — The New York State pension fund has appointed a former city financier as its new CIO, a year after losing the previous holder of the role to a top tier management consultancy.

Vicki Fuller has joined the third largest public sector pension fund in the United States after a career spanning decades working with investors at asset manager Alliance Bernstien, Reuters initially reported.

The $150 billion fund had been searching for a CIO since the departure of Raudline Etienne, who left to join Albright Stonebridge Group – a management consultant launched by former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright.

Fuller’s appointment bucks a trend of senior public pension fund staff quitting their roles for more lucrative opportunities either in other areas of institutional investment or in the private sector.

In April, aiCIO reported that there had been a rise in the number of public pension CIOs making their way to endowment and foundation investing, partly due to the nimbleness afforded by a smaller fund, but also for better remuneration.

Increased pressure on pension funds in the public and corporate world has turned many off staying in the sector, sources told aiCIO.

However, as the economic outlook in most developed markets continues to look uncertain, there appears to be some in the financial sector who have opted to exit banks and other large institutions in favour of more stable options.

In the last financial year, the New York State pension fund made a 6% return taking its assets to a post-Lehman-Brothers-collapse high of $150.3 billion.