Heidrick & Struggles Leading a Double Search for Illinois State Universities Retirement System

June 10, 2016 – Executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles has been retained by Illinois State Universities Retirement System (SURS) to lead its search for a new executive director. Current position holder W. Bryan Lewis is leaving SURS for a top job with the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System effective at the end of June.

Former SURS executive director William Mabe will be hired on an interim basis to serve as executive director during the search transition period. Lyndon Taylor, partner in charge of Heidrick & Struggles’ Chicago office, is serving as the lead consultant to SURS.

SURS will work with Heidrick to determine the position specifications, advertising and timeline development, the company said last week. The board expects to have final candidates in line within 120 days.

SURS is also looking for a new chief investment officer (CIO) and Heidrick is also handling that plum assignment. The CIO search, however, is being put on hold pending the appointment of the executive director. Current CIO Daniel L. Allen plans to retire later this year.

Heidrick was recently selected by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) to lead its search for a new chief executive officer. The firm’s asset management team serves the asset, wealth management and hedge fund sectors, providing talent acquisition and retention strategies across key positions in leadership, product and portfolio management, distribution and infrastructure.

Just recently rival firm Korn Ferry recruited Bryan Lewis as chief investment officer (CIO) of the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS). The firm was also tapped by The Indiana Public Retirement System to lead its search for a new chief investment officer.

According to recruiters specializing in the function, demand for executive level, ‘high impact’ investing talent has been on the rise, and that demand is expected to soar in coming years. But recruiters say these roles can be generally difficult to develop and ultimately recruit for clients, given their multi-disciplinary and evolving nature. In fact, impact investing roles are new to many organizations, they report.

“It is no secret that demand for high quality CIO’s across the asset allocator spectrum, including endowments and foundations‎, corporate, public and state plans, has increased significantly over the last five years as expectations regarding performance has ratcheted up post financial crisis,” said David Barrett, managing partner of David Barrett Partnersa boutique specialist search firm which recruits senior and C-level professionals for the investment and wealth management sector.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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