Theodore Economou will not run for re-election as CEO and chief investment officer at the European Organization for Nuclear Research Pension Fund, Geneva, he said in a telephone interview.
Mr. Economou said his current term ends in August 2015, and he will not seek reappointment. However, he will help the 4 billion Swiss franc ($4.5 billion) pension fund choose a successor.
Mr. Economou joined CERN in October 2009 and restructured the pension fund's return-based approach.
“What I was brought in here to accomplish has been done — to reposition the portfolio to a risk-based strategy,” Mr. Economou said. “It is all about delivering the highest possible returns for … the least possible risk.”
He said he will help in the search for his successor, which will “probably start in a few months.”
His next step, Mr. Economou said, will involve him “spread(ing) the gospel about this model. I would like to help other pension funds get the benefit of that model. I really do think there is a lot of opportunity in this space. The challenge (for pension funds) is to reconcile the high risk-adjusted returns with risk control and keeping fees at (an acceptable) level.”
A CERN news release said Mr. Economou's future options include forming an investment advisory firm with an investment strategy based on the CERN model.
Mr. Economou is also chairman of the investment committee of Lombard Odier's Geneva-based pension fund, and he serves on the investment advisory committee of the $62.5 billion Virginia Retirement System, Richmond. He said those roles are unaffected by his decision.