California Teachers’ Pension Names New Chief Investment Officer

News release

Sacramento, CA — Christopher J. Ailman, chief investment officer at the Washington State Investment Board, has been named chief investment officer of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System. Ailman will manage the $115.8 billion portfolio starting October 10.

A 20-year veteran in investment management, Ailman has been WSIB’s investment chief for four years. Before going to Washington, Ailman spent eleven years at the Sacramento County Employees’ Retirement System where he served as CIO of the pension fund for the county.

At WSIB, Ailman managed a $57 billion pool of assets held in 28 trust funds. He led WSIB to a greater diversification of assets and a reduction in use of external managers. Under Ailman’s leadership, WSIB reached $6 billion of investments in private equity, the third largest holding in the world.

“Chris brings the perfect mix of experience, management skills and demonstrated track record to continue our excellent portfolio performance,” said Emma Zink, chairperson, Teachers’ Retirement Board. “Recognizing there’s always room for improvement and innovation, we look forward to the impact his ideas and energy will have on the fund.”

Ailman received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics from the University of California Santa Barbara in 1980. He received his Certified Financial Planner from the University of Southern California in 1984. Prior to his positions in the public sector, Ailman worked five years in the private sector as a personal investment consultant and financial planner.

As CIO, Ailman will work with the Teachers’ Retirement Board to develop strategies for overall asset allocation, public and private equity, fixed income and real estate investments. He will direct a staff of about 50 persons and manage a diversified portfolio with both internal and external management of assets.

CalSTRS, the nation’s third largest pension fund, recently announced a 12.7 percent return for the year, marking the sixth straight year for double-digit returns.

The selection of Ailman was the result of a national search by Pendleton James Associates begun in April following the resignation of Patrick Mitchell. In July Mitchell left for the equity management field after three years as CIO.

CalSTRS serves more than 472,000 current and former public school educators and provides retirement benefits to more than 161,400 retired teachers and their families.