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CIO Changes For New York State, Md. Pensions

The revolving door keeps spinning for the nation’s public pension chief investment officers.

The $147 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund will lose its CIO, Raudline Etienne, to the private sector, where she will join the Albright Stonebridge Group as a senior director. The Albright Stonebridge Group is a consulting firm co-founded in 2001 by President Clinton’s former secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger and former Sen. Warren Rudman.

Eric Sumberg, a spokesman for New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, said, “We wish her all the best in her new role.” The comptroller’s office, which oversees the fund, plans to start searching immediately for a replacement. The New York State Common Retirement fund is the nation’s fourth-largest public pension fund.

Etienne became CIO in early 2008, just prior to the onset of the financial crisis. Her last day is set for Sept. 15. She will be replaced on an interim capacity by Marjorie Tsang, the assistant comptroller for real estate investments, who joined the pension fund in 1993.

“Etienne has been an outstanding chief investment officer… and we will greatly miss her expertise, character and acumen,” DiNapoli said in a prepared statement. “The fund has done well in a very difficult economic climate under her watch.”

Meanwhile, the $36 billion Maryland State Retirement and Pension System formally named A. Melissa Moye as the state’s chief investment officer after having served as its interim chief since October 2010. Dr. Moye replaces Mansco Perry III, who left last year to run the endowment of Macalaster College in St. Paul, Minn.

Prior to serving as interim CIO, Dr. Moye was Maryland’s deputy treasurer for financial policy, and also had served as a trustee for the pension fund from 2003 to 2007.