Presbyterian Church, Illinois Police Pensions Name New Leaders

Donald Walker tapped as CIO of church pension while Richard White will be interim head of new police fund.

The Presbyterian Church’s Board of Pensions has named Donald Walker III as its new CIO to manage its $9 billion investment portfolio. And the newly formed Illinois Police Officers’ Pension Investment Fund has named Richard White as its interim executive director.

Effective July 1, Walker will succeed Judith Freyer, who announced her retirement in March after more than 30 years at the fund. She will remain as chief investment officer emeritus and will assist in the transition through July.

“Judy’s diligent stewardship throughout more than 30 years has greatly benefited thousands of benefits plan members, retirees, and their families,” the Rev. Frank Clark Spencer, president of the church’s Board of Pensions, said in a release. “For nearly half that time, Don has been at her side. The board is deeply grateful to Judy for mentoring him through the years and is equally confident in his leadership as we move forward.”

Walker currently serves as vice president and deputy CIO, managing the public securities and operations staff of the investment team. The church’s board of pensions promoted Walker to managing director, investments in 2011 and named him to his current post in 2016. He first joined the board of pensions in 2006 from the investment firm Janney Montgomery Scott, where he was vice president, portfolio strategist. Previously, he had been vice president, equity portfolio manager/analyst at First Albany Capital.

“Judy and I have worked together for more than half of my career,” Walker said in a statement. “I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor—or a better CIO model.”

Walker serves on the investment subcommittee of the American Friends Service Committee and is co-president of Wolf Performing Arts Center in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Middle Eastern history, cum laude, from Amherst College and an MBA from Villanova University.

Meanwhile, Richard White has been named interim executive director of the Illinois Police Officers’ Pension Investment Fund, which was created to consolidate the state’s police pensions. White will serve successive one-year terms as interim executive director until a permanent executive director is selected by the board of trustees.

The Pension Investment Fund was formed to consolidate the investment assets of the 353 Article 3 Illinois police pension plans into one statewide investment asset pool by no later than July 1, 2022. After the conclusion of the transition period, the Pension Investment Fund will manage an estimated $8.3 billion in assets.

During his law enforcement career, White served as a member of the board of trustees for the Orange County Employees’ Retirement System in Southern California. He also has served as president of California’s State Association of County Retirement Systems’ board of directors and was the retirement administrator for the Mendocino County Employees’ Retirement Association.

White earned a Master of Science degree from the University of San Francisco.

“White brings decades of experience as a sworn law enforcement officer and as a public pension fund trustee and administrator,” Shawn Curry, chairman of the Illinois Police Officers’ Pension Investment Fund, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Richard as we create a fund to serve the participants and beneficiaries of the Illinois downstate and suburban police pension funds.”

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