North Carolina Pension System Taps SigRist As CIO

Pension System: North Carolina Retirement Systems

Assets Managed: $77 Billion (Sept. 30, 2012)

PE Assets Managed: $3.6 Billion (Sept. 30, 2012)

PE Allocation (Target): 4.6% (6.5%) (Sept. 30, 2012)

Chief Investment Officer: Kevin SigRist

SigRist comes to North Carolina from the Florida State Board of Administration, which manages $158 billion in that state’s pension and emergency funds as of Oct. 31, 2012.  At Florida, SigRist was the deputy to Ash Williams, the system’s executive director and chief investment officer. He had been in the role since 2006.

North Carolina Treasurer Janet Cowell said in a statement that the state “will benefit from Mr. SigRist’s 20 years of investment experience, as well as his perspective coming from Florida – a state with a strong, forward-thinking pension investment program.”

The state’s pension system has a 4.6 percent, or $3.6 billion, allocation to private equity, less than its 6.5 percent policy target to the asset class.  

North Carolina had been looking for a new CIO since March, when Shawn Wischmeier left to be the chief investment officer for the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies in Eden Prairie, Minn., which manages $6 billion in assets. His duties at North Carolina were filled on an interim basis by Brian Lewis, the pension system’s chief administrative officer.

Wischmeier had been making $320,000 as CIO, and there were no formalized performance incentives. SigRist will be making $350,000 in his new role. That is a sharp jump from the $193,000 that he made at the Florida SBA, according to spokesman John Kuczwanski.

SigRist joins Jim Treanor among recent top-level departures at Florida. Treanor, who was Florida’s head of private equity, left to be the director of capital markets research at Jeffrey Slocum & Associates, an investment firm that offers advice to institutions. Treanor was replaced by Trent Webster last March.

Kuczwanski of Florida said he was unable to comment on plans to replace SigRist’s old role.