U. California CIO Installs New Investment Team

Jagdeep Bachher has hired or promoted at least 14 staffers in the past few weeks, CIO has learned, and is actively recruiting for more.

After a quiet first few months the job, University of California (UC) Regents CIO Jagdeep Bachher has announced major personnel changes almost daily over the past several weeks.  

The raft of new hires includes a public pension CIO (Sam Kunz, plucked from Chicago’s police fund), the founder of a real estate firm (Thomas Fischer, now an investment officer), noted academic Ashby Monk, and two of Bachher’s former colleagues.

Alumni of the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) now hold three of the top UC investment jobs, including Bachher himself. Prior to joining the Oakland, California-based office in April, he spent several years as deputy CIO at the $70 billion sovereign wealth and pension fund.

"In hiring, I target people with experience who’ve had leadership roles. Hence, CIOs at other institutions who want to go back to investing have been very attractive."       —Bachher on building UC's team 

He has brought with him Arthur Guimaraes, now UC’s COO, and Brian Gibson, who serves as senior investment advisor.

Other asset owner recruits include Niclas Winterstorm, who spent years with Norges Bank Investment Management, investor of the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund. Faced with the opportunity to hire Winterstorm, Bachher created the role of operational risk management director for him.

“I’ve known him for a while and thought, ‘He can really add value,’” Bachher told CIO. “So let’s create a job for him.” 

In taking over UC’s CIO role and creating the team, he describes his strategy as three-fold. “First, you must make sure you absolutely understand the organization and the people you have, and be sure that talent has the opportunity to grow and blossom.” In addition to the new hires, Bachher has promoted several existing employees.

“Second,” he says, “you need to bring in external people. Target those with experience who’ve had leadership roles. Hence, CIOs at other institutions who want to go back to investing have been very attractive. Finally, I was intent on absolutely making sure that we don’t hire based on having a job to fill. Instead, we searched for excellent talent, and in some cases created a role for them.”

Bachher is still recruiting for a number of senior positions at the $91 billion fund, including senior managing directors of fixed income and public equity, head of risk management, head of real assets, chief of staff, and at least two people for the sustainability team. (Interested?)  

New Hires:

-Arthur Guimaraes, COO & Associate CIO (ex-AIMCo)

-Brian Gibson, Senior Investments Advisor to the CIO (ex-AIMCo and Ontario Teachers’)

-Ashby Monk, Senior Advisor to the CIO

-Sam Kunz, Managing Director, Asset Allocation & Investment Strategy (ex-CIO of the Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago)

-Niclas Winterstorm, Director, Operational Risk Management (ex-Norges Bank Investment Management)

-Lindsey Adams, Director, Real Estate (ex-San Francisco Public Employees’ Retirement System)

-Jessica Hans, Senior Investment Analyst, Private Equity & Real Assets (ex-Monsanto and Blackstone)

-Matt Webster, Senior Investment Analyst, Private Equity & Real Assets (ex-Chertoff Group)

-Sheng-Sheng Foo, Senior Investment Analyst, Public Equity (ex-California Endowment, a $3 billion foundation)

-Thomas Fischer, Investment Officer, Real Estate (ex-Otto Finlay Investment, a real estate operating company)



-Paul Teng, Director, Deputy Head, & Acting Head, Public Equity (formerly Investment Officer)

-Edmond Fong, Managing Director, Cross Asset Class Investments (formerly in absolute return unit)

-Susie Ardeshir, Investment Officer



-Mel Stanton, Deputy CIO (now retired)

-Peter Taylor, CFO (now president of a private foundation)

-Brian Johnson, Director, Real Assets (now managing director of the University of Southern California’s endowment)