ORLAND PARK, Ill. Edmund M. Burke, a pioneer in pension fund consulting, died Sept. 21 of complications from a stroke, said Howard H. Pohl, principal at Becker Burke Associates Inc., Chicago. He was 84.
Mr. Burke was working as an executive at Borg-Warner Automotive Inc., Chicago, in the early 1960s when he was introduced to executives of A.G. Becker & Co., an investment banking and brokerage firm and commercial paper dealer. Together, they saw the need for evaluation of pension fund performance.
Mr. Burke joined A.G. Becker in 1965 and helped start its Funds Evaluation Group, which was a pioneer in pension fund performance evaluation at corporate funds and later at public funds, Taft-Hartley funds and endowments and foundations. FEG also developed analysis of money managers, recommending hiring and firing to clients.
The A.G. Becker Funds Evaluation Group, where Mr. Burke was a senior vice president, became the largest pension fund consulting firm in the 1960s and 1970s, having one-half of the pension fund market, Mr. Pohl said. It devised the performance evaluation metric that became the pension fund consulting industry convention, ranking performance by percentile, placing the first percentile as highest, Mr. Pohl said.
Mr. Burke joined SEI Corp. in 1983 when it bought the Funds Evaluation Group from Becker. In 1985, Mr. Burke founded Becker Burke Associates, adding the name of his former employer as a tribute to its pioneering effort.
Mr. Burke, a resident of Orland Park, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, stepped away from day-to-day management of the firm last year but continued client relationship activity, and sold his interest in the firm to Richard L. Potter, a consultant and principal of the firm, Mr. Pohl said.
Memorial donations can be made to Misericordia, 6300 N. Ridge Ave., Chicago, IL 60660.
Contact Barry B. Burr at [email protected]