Illinois State Universities Retirement chooses new executive director

Martin Noven was named executive director of the Champaign-based Illinois State Universities Retirement System, which oversees $17 billion in defined benefit and $1.8 billion in 401(a) defined contribution assets. His hiring is effective Nov. 2, said a SURS news release.

Mr. Noven will replace interim executive director William Mabe, who has been serving in the role since June 30 when W. Bryan Lewis left to become chief investment officer of the $26 billon Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System, Harrisburg.

In 2015, Mr. Lewis joined SURS, replacing Mr. Mabe, who retired in 2014 as executive director.

Mr. Noven is currently Chicago-based senior director for government markets at TIAA-CREF, overseeing activities with state and local retirement plans nationwide. He plans to leave TIAA Nov. 1. Before joining TIAA in 2007, he worked as Illinois state deputy treasurer.

“The board of trustees is very pleased to welcome Martin Noven to SURS,” Tom Cross, board chairman, said in the release. “He has the broad experience needed to guide the system at this critical time. We are confident he will serve the membership well.”

Key priorities for Mr. Noven are “to ensure a smooth transition, finish up with the (chief investment officer) search, review both SURS’ strategic plan and current investment plan, and continue to press for full funding,” Mr. Mabe said in an interview.

In June, Douglas C. Wesley was named interim chief investment officer. Mr. Wesley, who was SURS deputy CIO, takes over in the interim for Daniel L. Allen, who retired Aug. 1.

SURS hired Heidrick & Struggles International, which assisted in the search for executive director, to assist in the search for a new CIO.

Chad Peterson, TIAA spokesman, said Mr. Noven’s colleagues in the strategic markets group will permanently assume his duties. He will not be replaced.