, Editorial Director
Another veteran pension executive is hanging up his spurs. George Weintz, who oversaw the Lockheed Corp. pension funds from 1977 until Lockheed's merger with Martin Marietta in 1995, is retiring this month.
Since the merger, George has been vice president-investments, sharing oversight of the now $35 billion in combined Lockheed Martin Corp. defined benefit and defined contribution assets with Wayne Shaner, also vice president-investments, who had overseen the Martin Marietta fund.
After the corporate merger, the two pools of assets largely remained separate, although George moved east to the new corporate headquarters in Bethesda, Md., and worked with Mr. Shaner toward combining the operations.
Last October the company completed the process, establishing Lockheed Martin Investment Management Co. to manage all of the assets, and named A.G. "Jerry" Van Schaick as president and chief executive officer. Mr. Shaner will continue as vice president of the investment management unit.
George's nearly 22-year career with Lockheed almost didn't happen. He first applied for the job in 1976 but was not selected because he didn't have a CPA or an MBA. He was an institutional salesman working for the brokerage firm of Thomson McKinnon & Co.
Soon after, George quit the brokerage firm and left Los Angeles while trying to decide what his next career should be. After a few months of fruitless job interviews, a friend told him the man selected for the Lockheed position had not worked out and the job was vacant again. George applied once more and this time was hired "at a token salary while they saw if I worked out."
George has been an evolutionary, rather than a revolutionary, in the pension world. When he joined the Lockheed fund it had $1 billion in defined benefit assets and $400 million in savings plan assets; he inherited 12 banks and three investment advisers as managers.
Unlike many new pension executives, he did not suddenly clean house and reshape the roster with his own managers.
"I was not a believer in going in and shooting everyone," he said.
One reason: It's not easy to pick someone who will do better. Another: It was not easy to know, in those days, if the problem was with the manager, or if the style was simply out of fashion.
As a result, many of the managers' results turned around when they were given time, "though we overstayed on a few people," he said. Those were replaced. George added managers and investment vehicles, not when it was fashionable, but when it made sense as the fund grew. At the time of the Lockheed Martin merger, he oversaw $16 billion in employee benefit assets
There is no truth to the rumor that, in retirement, George will resume an acting career he began when he was a college student. At that time, he and his brother were extras, playing Royal Canadian Mounties in a film called "Saskatchewan," which starred Alan Ladd and Shelley Winters. Watching the film again not long ago, George noticed he "died" three times in the movie -- his death (shot by an attacking Indian) was filmed from three different angles, and then used three different times in the climactic battle scene.
Dying three times in one film is a bit much. No wonder George is eschewing Hollywood for Las Vegas, where he hopes to spend a lot of time on a golf course.