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Help wanted: Philly seeks pro investor at $157,000/yr+/-, to bet $5 billion for pensions

To replace departed CIO Sumit Handa, paid $157,000/year, no bonus

Philadelphia has been recruiting on and elsewhere to replace Sumit Handa, ex-Chief Investment Officer at the city's seriously underfunded, $5.2 billion-asset pension and deferred-compensation system. They're looking for an MBA, CPA, ChFC, or else someone who's been doing this kind of thing for many years. Handa's base salary was $159,131, which doesn't sound like a lot, given the big responsibility. He got no bonus, city spokesman Mark McDonald tells me.

Handa, who made waves by firing some hometown investment management firms and hiring others, left town at the end of last year to work for an insurance company. The Board of City Pensions has declared the investment sub-portfolio he ran a success and shut it down. As to the search for a replacement, "The response has been encouraging and includes a number of quality candidates," says McDonald.  Here's what they're looking for:

Salary: Commensurate with education and experience
Type: Exempt, Full time position; Appointed by vote of the Board of Pensions and Retirement; Must establish residency in the City of Philadelphia within 6 months of appointment
Deadline: Open until Further Notice

GENERAL DEFINITION: The Chief Investment Officer is appointed by the Board of Pensions and Retirement and is responsible for all investment related activities associated with the City's $4.5 billion defined benefit plan and the City's $800 million Deferred Compensation Plan. The CIO is the primary liaison to the Philadelphia Board of Pensions and Retirement and to any investment consultants for all investment related activity and reports to the Executive Director.

The Board of Pensions and Retirement is charged under the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter with the creation and maintenance of an actuarially sound Retirement System providing benefits for all City employees. The Board, as defined in the Home Rule Charter, is composed of the Director of Finance, who serves as chairperson, the Managing Director, the City Solicitor, the Personnel Director, the City Controller and four members who are elected by the Civil Service employees of the City of Philadelphia; City Council is also represented by a non-voting member of the Board.

TYPICAL EXAMPLES OF WORK (ILLUSTRATIVE ONLY): Responsible for the administration and management of investment related activities for the City's Defined Benefit Pension Fund and Deferred Compensation Plan.

Provide leadership, supervision, and direction for the Investment staff to ensure sound implementation of the Board's Investment Policy and compliance with federal and state law.

Develop, recommend, and implement the overall investment strategy approved by the Board by performing analysis and ongoing review with respect to diversification, capital market conditions, portfolio management, cash flow and capital structure. Work closely with the Board's general financial consultant for Pension investments

Develop and maintain positive working relationships as the investment liaison with others involved in pension and investments including vendors, consultants, industry associations, the custodial bank, and city officials.

Evaluate and review asset allocation, investment strategy, and other investment decisions on an ongoing basis to ensure optimal performance. Serve as the primary investment staff expert for the Board. Develop and present to the Board sound and fully supported policy and investment recommendations, in concert with the investment consultants and staff. Assist the Board in establishing investment policies consistent with fiduciary standards and state and federal laws and regulations.

Develop the monthly Board agenda for the Deferred Compensation Plan and Investment meetings. Ensure the Board is provided with substantive reports on portfolio performance, manager performance, and information related to Board agenda items in a timely manner.

Direct investment manager and consultant searches. Perform appropriate due diligence to ensure well qualified candidate firms are recommended to the Board. Oversee investment contract negotiations. Evaluate and monitor existing external investment managers. Recommend necessary actions in relation to external managers to the Board.

Maintain awareness of trends and events impacting public pension policy. Research and recommend new asset classes and innovative investment management that can increase the return, reduce risk, or reduce the cost of the plan. When called upon, testify before the Philadelphia City Council on investment and budget related issues.

EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS Completion of a Master's degree in finance, accounting, business, economics, or a related field from an accredited college or university, or advanced certification such as a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Financial Planner, or Chartered Financial Analyst is preferred. Significant experience beyond the General Experience requirement below will be considered in lieu of the advanced degree or certification.

GENERAL EXPERIENCE: Eight years of extensive investment/financial executive experience, which includes four years of experience working in:

1. a public retirement system performing duties which involve investment policy development, and oversight of the management of investment funds; OR:
2. an investment organization performing duties that include the responsibility for directing investments in bonds, common stocks, mortgages, other securities and alternative investments such as real estate, hedge funds and private equity investments, and performing duties which involve investment policy development, recommendations and oversight of the management of investment funds; OR
3. an executive position managing corporate or large nonprofit pension funds, trusts, and/or endowments.; OR
4. an executive position in an investment consulting firm.

• Submit a cover letter, including salary requirements, and a resume to:
• No telephone calls, please.
• Deadline: Open until Further Notice