STAMFORD, Conn. - T. Britton Harris IV has been named president of GTE Investment Management Corp., succeeding John B. Carroll, who apparently is preparing for his retirement.
Mr. Carroll will become a senior adviser to GTE Investment Management Corp., and will remain vice president of investment management for GTE Corp.
GTE has about $20 billion in employee benefit assets, including about $16 billion in the pension trust and more than $4 billion in a 401(k) plan. GTE Investment Management oversees investment and administration of employee benefit assets for GTE and its operating affiliates worldwide.
Mr. Carroll could not be reached for comment. But a source said Mr. Carroll expects to retire perhaps in two or three years. Mr. Harris also could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Harris already has taken a strong hand in the pension fund's management, and his elevation to its presidency comes as no surprise to close observers.
Described as focused, innovative and hard-charging, Mr. Harris directs GTE's much-publicized strategic partnership program. That 2-year-old program parceled out about one-third of the fund's assets to four large money managers that invest in a multiasset global approach.
Mr. Harris, who joined GTE in 1990, was senior vice president-pension fund management.
His successor has not been named.
A dean of the pension industry, Mr. Carroll is credited by outside observers with bringing important innovations to GTE's pension fund.
Under Mr. Carroll, GTE was one of the first major U.S. pension funds to invest sizable amounts abroad. And his focus on asset allocation is said to have helped make GTE's pension fund one of the top-performing funds.
J. Michael Kelly, GTE executive vice president-finance and planning, said Mr. Carroll is a "tremendous individual and one of the dominant forces in the pension management industry."
Among his achievements, Mr. Carroll set up a "much more rigorous methodology measuring asset allocation and performance for fund managers," Mr. Kelly said.
The concept of creating benchmarks for money managers - and then paying them on an incentive-fee basis - originated in the late 1980s and was then implemented "more aggressively when Britt joined" in 1990, he said.
Both Messrs. Carroll and Harris have made major contributions, including "attracting high-quality investment talent," he said.
Outsiders believe more innovations are likely under Mr. Harris.
As for talk that Mr. Carroll will retire in the foreseeable future, Mr. Kelly acknowledged there was a need for "succession planning;" Mr. Carroll turns 62 later this year. There are no "firm commitments out there," Mr. Kelly said, although he's "sure John is thinking about what to do next."