Deals and People

Retirement Industry People Moves

Texas TRS CIO steps down; Heffernan Financial Services expands adviser team; Todd Organization hires partner for executive benefits consulting; and more.

By Javier Simon | June 16, 2017
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Texas TRS CIO Steps Down

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) announced that TRS Chief Investment Officer Thomas “Britt” Harrisis leaving the agency to serve as the chief investment officer for The University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO), a 501(c)(3) investment management corporation.

Harris joined TRS in November 2006 as its chief investment officer. He previously served as chief executive officer of Bridgewater Associates, chief investment officer and president of Verizon Investment Management Corporation, chief investment officer and president of GTE Investment Management Corporation, and managing director for Asea Brown Boveri.

When Harris joined TRS, the pension fund was valued at $100 billion. Shortly after his arrival, however, the fund’s value dropped to $67 billion during the 2007-08 financial crisis. Under Harris’ leadership, the TRS investment team skillfully guided the fund back to financial health as evidenced by its $140 billion value today.

Harris restructured and expanded TRS’ investment division, implemented leading-edge portfolio management strategies, guided development of a new asset allocation policy and entered into a series of innovative strategic partnerships. With Harris’ guidance, the agency’s world-class staff has earned TRS a reputation as a top investment industry leader with highly regarded performance, innovation and effective risk management.

TRS Executive Director Brian Guthrie announced that, effective immediately, TRS Deputy Chief Investment Officer Jerry Albright will serve as interim chief investment officer. Albright is chairman of the Internal Investment Committee and sole director of TRICOT London, the first international office for the TRS pension fund. Albright previously served as TRS Investment Division’s chief operating officer as well as the director of investment operations.

At their July meeting, the TRS Board will consider plans for filling the chief investment officer position on a permanent basis.

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