Salient CIO to Depart Amid Restructure

Lee Partridge will act as an advisor to the asset manager “through early 2017.”

Assset manager Salient Partners has restructured its senior leadership in a move that will see CIO Lee Partridge leave the firm next year.

“I am proud of the work we have achieved as a team in creating a diversified investment platform.”Rusty Guinn, previously deputy CIO, has been appointed to the new role of executive vice president of asset management, reporting to CEO John Blaisdell. Ben Hunt, chief risk officer, has been named chief investment strategist, also a new role, the group said in a statement.

In place of the chief risk officer role, Salient is to create a risk committee of its executives that will report to the board of directors.

Partridge, CIO at Salient since 2010, will “transition out of his role and serve in an advisory capacity for the firm through early 2017,” the company said.

“I am proud of the work we have achieved as a team in creating a diversified investment platform,” the outgoing investment chief said. “I look forward to observing Salient’s future success and will remain a close friend of the firm.”

CEO Blaisdell said Guinn and Hunt would provide “critical business, operational, and investment strategy support” in their new positions. The restructure “will further our efforts to achieve investment and return objectives more readily, and incentivize greater individual accountability within each team,” he added.

Guinn joined Salient in 2013 and previously worked at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas as an investment director across multiple asset classes. He has a degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Hunt also joined Salient in 2013, having previously held portfolio management roles at long-short equity fund manager TIG Procella and Iridian Asset Management. He holds a PhD from Harvard University, and taught political science for 10 years at New York University and Southern Methodist University.

Salient was at the center of a public debate about the use of risk parity at the San Diego County Employees Retirement Association (SDCERA), which ended last year. The $11 billion public pension’s board clashed repeatedly over the decision to appoint Salient as outsourced-CIO in April 2014, resulting in the termination of the contract in August 2015.

Despite the end of the relationship, Salient said at the time that it was pleased with the value it had helped create for SDCERA, while the pension’s new CIO Steve Sexauer praised the firm’s “careful, thorough, and professional” work through the transition.

Related: 2015 Risk Parity Investment Survey; Risk Parity’s Hunger Games; San Diego’s Bumpy Transition from OCIO