CalSTRS’ Christopher Ailman Receives Top Honor in aiCIO Magazine’s Power 100 Ranking
2018 is the CalSTRS CIO's sixth year in the rankings

News release Ricardo Duran
Christopher Ailman

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. (November 15, 2018) – The California State Teachers’ Retirement System today announced that Chief Investment Officer Christopher J. Ailman received the number-one ranking in aiCIO magazine’s 2018 Chief Investment Officer Power 100. The list ranks and profiles the 100 most influential and powerful asset owners in the world.

This year’s placement marks the second consecutive top ranking for Mr. Ailman in the list’s seven-year tenure. It is also the fourth time in the last six years that CalSTRS has appeared among the top five funds. CalSTRS reached the number-four spot in 2016 and was ranked third in 2013.

“Chris has guided the investment portfolio and the Investments Branch for 18 years. He is one of the longest tenured CIOs in the country. I’m very proud of the work he has done guiding CalSTRS through an internet bubble and a global financial crisis,” said Teachers’ Retirement Board Investment Committee Chairman Harry Keiley.

“We’ve looked to Chris to protect the fund in down markets and he then developed the Risk Mitigating Strategies asset class. We asked him to develop a world-class corporate governance program and he hired former director Anne Sheehan, who put us on the map, and now is embarking on a new leadership vision with Kirsty Jenkinson joining the team in January 2019,” Mr. Keiley added. “We asked him to bring more assets in house and he’s making it happen, including reducing our management costs considerably. We also asked Chris to make CalSTRS a thought leader in the institutional investor community, and through his inspiration, innovation and insight, he has drawn the attention of industry standard bearers such as aiCIO magazine.”

CalSTRS Chief Executive Officer Jack Ehnes said of Mr. Ailman: “The resolute devotion Chris shows to his team and to ensuring our members’ financial security in retirement has led us through market downturns and the challenges of the Great Recession. Through it all, he has expertly positioned the portfolio to take full advantage of the good times while also emerging from the bad.”

Mr. Ailman has led the CalSTRS Investments Branch since 2000—the longest tenured CIO in the system’s 105-year history. He has guided the investment fund from the depths of the Great Recession, when assets dwindled to $115 billion, through the growth of the recovery to today’s more than $219 billion portfolio. He has more than 32 years of institutional investment management experience.

“A leader is only as good as his or her team, and I have one of the best in the business.”

Christopher J. Ailman
CalSTRS Chief Investment Officer

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Mr. Ailman said, “A leader is only as good as his or her team, and I have one of the best in the business. My full attention goes to safeguarding the retirement for our more than 933,000 members. Our job is to take their contributions during their careers and turn that into a lifelong annuity. To do that, our investment staff must innovate, evaluate and manage a vast and complex portfolio in the face of a wall of global risks.”

aiCIO magazine’s ranking is a qualitative compilation based on whom the industry recognizes as a leader in the institutional investor community. The ranking considers the candidate’s approaches to innovation, collaboration, talent development, the fund size and candidate’s tenure.

Mr. Ailman oversees a staff of more than 150. He serves on several boards and advisory boards in the U.S. and U.K. He is currently the chair of the SASB Investor Advisory Board promoting better corporate disclosure of ESG risks. In addition, he is the North American co-chair of the 300 CIO Club and is on the Milken Global Capital Markets Committee. Mr. Ailman also serves as an advisor to the MSCI Index Advisory Council, the PRI Asset Owners Committee, and the EDHEC Risk Institute.

About CalSTRS

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, with a portfolio valued at $219.2 billion as of October 31, 2018, is the largest educator-only pension fund in the world. CalSTRS serves California’s more than 933,000 public school educators and their families from the state’s 1,700 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts. A hybrid retirement system, CalSTRS administers a combined traditional defined benefit, cash balance and voluntary defined contribution plan. CalSTRS also provides disability and survivor benefits. CalSTRS members retire on average after more than 25 years of service, with a median retirement age of 62.9, and a monthly pension of approximately $4,475, which is not eligible for Social Security participation. For more data, download the CalSTRS Fast Facts 2017 brochure.

See how CalSTRS demonstrates its strong commitment to long-term corporate sustainability principles in its annual Global Reporting Initiative sustainability report: Global Stewardship at Work.

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