Kumabe HR Seeks Investment Officer for Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System, Honolulu

April 2, 2018 – The $16.3 billion Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System, Honolulu, has retained the services of executive search firm Kumabe HR to find its next chief investment officer.

Vijoy Chattergy, who served in the role since 2012, recently left the organization.

Reportedly, the pension fund had been selling put options, benefitting from the low volatility of the stock market. But Wall Street has been anything but stable in recent weeks, and the retirement system suffered losses, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Employees’ Retirement System was established in 1926 to provide retirement allowances and other benefits to state and county government employees. It provides retirement, disability, survivor and other benefits to more than 135,000 members. The organization’s membership is comprised of retirees, beneficiaries, inactive vested members and active public employees working for the state and counties of Hawaii.

Founded in 2009, Kumabe HR was developed as a response to a tremendous need for executive level recruitment and human resource expertise in Hawaii organizations spanning the government, non-profit and private sectors.


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Principal and owner Marie Kumabe oversees the executive recruitment and human resource consulting division. She has 25 years of experience in business, with 15 years specifically dedicated to executive search, human resource consulting and staffing.

Turning to Search Firms

As globalization, change, and disruption create opportunities and risks in the investment management sector, demand for seasoned financial talent is rising. Demand for executive-level, “high impact” investing talent has been on the rise, and in the years ahead it is expected to soar. Recruiters say the need for chief investment officers across the asset allocator spectrum, including endowments and foundations‎, and corporate, public and state plans, have significantly increased in number over the last five years as expectations of performance has ratcheted up since the financial crisis.

“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.

“Demand for CIOs in alternatives, especially real assets, is on the rise as firms take the lead from investors increasingly seeking assets with lower correlation to the stock and bond markets and higher returns,” said Maria de Rossi, a partner at Odgers Berndtson, who specializes in financial services with a focus on alternative asset management, investment banking and private equity.

A number of organizations of all types of have turned to executive recruiters in recent months to help find new investment leaders. Here’s a sampling from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:

Goldsmith & Co. placed Geetanjali Gupta as the new chief investment officer of the New York Public Library. Ms. Gupta was with the Harvard Management Company in Boston for more than 10 years, most recently serving as senior vice president of absolute return and public market funds.

$219.6 billion West Sacramento-based California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) has retained executive search firm EFL Associates to finds its next deputy chief investment officer. Current CIO Michelle Cunningham will be retiring. Executive vice president Mary L. Hobson is leading the search along with SVP and managing director Daniel J. Cummings.

Heidrick & Struggles recently recruited Douglas C. Wesley as chief investment officer of Illinois State Universities Retirement System (SURS), an agency in the State of Illinois government that administers retirement, disability, death, and survivor benefits to eligible SURS participants and annuitants.

David Barrett Partners placed Alice A. Ruth as CIO of Dartmouth College. Ms. Ruth, who spent the last eight years as chief investment officer for Michael Bloomberg’s family office, Willett Advisors, will oversee Dartmouth’s investment office and management of the College’s $4.5 billion endowment.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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