David Cooper, who has been chief investment officer of the $14.2 billion Indiana Public Employees’ Retirement Fund since June, was also named CIO at the $8.5 billion Indiana State Teachers’ Retirement Fund, confirmed spokesman Jeff Hutson.
At the Indiana Teachers’ fund, Mr. Cooper replaces Tim Walsh, who left in July to become director of the New Jersey Division of Investment, Trenton, and as the CIO overseeing the state’s seven defined benefit pension plans with a combined $67.6 billion in assets.
Mr. Cooper had taken over the PERF CIO duties from Shawn Wischmeier, who was named CIO of the $65.3 billion North Carolina Retirement Systems, Raleigh.
The Indiana hiring was the second such dual appointment made by the two funds this year. In May, Steve Russo, executive director of the Indiana Teachers’ fund, was also named executive director of the Public Employees’ fund.
A state statute passed earlier this year requires the boards to appoint a common director for both Indianapolis-based funds and “requires the PERF and TRF boards to cooperate to the extent practicable and feasible in administering and investing the assets of the funds and in hiring investment managers, investment advisers and other service providers,” according to an Indiana General Assembly summary statement.
According to an Indiana PERF news release, naming a CIO to serve for both PERF and TRF is “an additional step in a cost-savings program which began in May with the appointment of Steve Russo as executive director over both funds.”
“In the months since we created a single management team, increased cooperation has yielded millions in annual savings for the funds,” Mr. Russo said in the news release. “While PERF and TRF remain distinctly separate plans with separate financial accounting, a collaborative investing and management approach has clearly benefited both funds.”