May 9, 2016 – Korn Ferry has recruited Bryan Lewis as chief investment officer of the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS). He will assume duties from Thomas F. Brier, who announced his plans to retire in June after nearly 24 years of commonwealth service.
Mr. Lewis currently serves as executive director of the $20 billion State Universities Retirement System, in Champaign, IL. In that position, he led fund administration and investment management, including managing risk and compliance for two defined benefit plans and one defined contribution plan serving 220,000 members.
“Bryan’s strong public pension experience and investment background stood out to the board,” said board chairman David R. Fillman. “Like so many systems across the nation, SERS has been facing funding challenges while working to strike a balance between generating returns through all sorts of markets and being responsive to taxpayers’ desire for transparency. Bryan has expressed a clear understanding of these pressures and an enthusiasm to lead the fund through them.”
“I am looking forward to working with the SERS staff and the board to prudently manage the assets of the fund,” Mr. Lewis said. “I am appreciative of the opportunity to help the commonwealth’s current and former employees meet their financial goals.”
The Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System manages the pension benefits of more than 230,000 employees and retirees for 104 public sector employers.
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Korn Ferry’s structured global impact investing team draws upon its expertise in a number of areas, including non-profit, social enterprise, philanthropy, financial services, energy, education, healthcare, real estate, technology, public-private partnerships, CEO, boards, leadership development, and succession planning. The firm was recently 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 Partners, a 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