Walter Kress Receives CIO’s 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award

EY’s CIO, a connector and a generous collaborator, to be honored during awards night at Chelsea Piers.

Walter Kress IIAW21-Anthony Collins-photo-web

Walter Kress. Photography by Anthony Collins.

As part of the 2022 Industry Innovation Awards, CIO tonight will celebrate Walter Kress, CIO of EY, with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his contributions to the industry.

Kress, who CIO has recognized in the past as both an investor and a master collaborator, is not ready for retirement, but he does have more than 36 years in finance and experience that makes him a resource for other CIOs are seeking insights, ideas or recommendations.

CIO has presented the Lifetime Achievement Award since 2011 to individuals, both asset allocators and asset managers, whose work in the institutional investing business has protected and benefitted the investment resources of pension funds, endowments and foundations around the world.

Past honorees received the recognition for different efforts and varied careers, but the one thing they share are the contributions each has made to the community of investors and institutional asset ownership. As we will tonight, this award has always recognized people who helped to train the up-and-coming talent in the business, who have given time and attention to helping peers in other institutions solve complex problems independently and through service on the boards of industry groups.

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Previous winners have included (among others) Thomas “Britt” Harris, then the CIO of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, Mark Schmid, who was then the CIO of the University of Chicago, Ash Williams, the then-chief investment officer and executive director of the Florida State Board of Administration, Mansco Perry, the then CIO of the Minnesota State Board of Investment and Robin Diamonte, who continues to work as corporate vice president and chief investment officer of Raytheon Technologies.

Kress is known for his six years at EY, but also for personal experience that gave him knowledge and understanding of both sides of the industry. Before EY, he spent 10 years at JP Morgan Chase as a managing director and chief operating officer (COO) for the bank’s own retirement plans, where he also oversaw the company’s multibillion-dollar alternatives portfolio for the last three years of his tenure. Before joining the allocation side of the business, Kress’s sell-side experience included roles as senior vice president of Mellon Institutional Asset Management, president of Mellon Advisors and national sales manager for Dreyfus.

The varying roles–and some of the unique experiences of working at both an accounting firm and a bank–have provided perspective and a unique skill set that have benefitted his work as an investor, a collaborator and contributor to the efforts of professional organizations, both formally and informally.

In addition to his job, Kress has volunteered with the Committee for the Investment of Employee Benefit Assets, which works to enhance corporate chief investment officer effectiveness and improve the overall soundness of the private retirement system. He serves there as an executive committee member, a member of the public policy task force and vice chairman of the defined contribution committee.

We have honored people for their innovations – in investing and in operations – their determination and their contributions to the community of the world’s largest investors.

When reviewing the names that came up in our conversations this year, Kress, was an obvious choice.

Despite his demanding job he makes time to volunteer in his community, confer with peers, call attention to the tremendous work of others and work with industry groups to problem solve and to educate professionals in the pension and benefits world.

Related Stories:

Robin Diamonte to Receive CIO’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award

Lifetime Achievement Award: Mansco Perry, Minnesota State Board of Investment

Florida SBA’s Ash Williams to Receive CIO’s Lifetime Achievement Award

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