San Diego Pension to Begin Recruiting New CIO In 2015, But Board Worried Internal Clashes Could Scare Candidates Away

Now HiringThe board of the San Diego County Employees Retirement Association (SDCERA) heard plans to begin recruiting a new chief investment officer in 2015 – including job postings and coming up with a pool of candidates.

Previously, it had only been decided that the fund would move on from current-CIO Salient Partners, and a general salary range for the new job was decided upon.

But board members wondered aloud at Thursday’s meeting whether the internal drama at the fund would scare good candidates away.


Mary Hobson of recruitment firm EFL Associates told the board on Thursday that job postings would go up early in the new year. She said she aims to present a pool of candidates to the board for consideration by February 6.

Already, according to Hobson, between eight and ten people have contacted her expressing interest in the position.

However, board members themselves indicated that recruitment efforts could be hamstrung by their highly public and ongoing infighting.

Vice Chairman David Meyers, who has consistently supported the deal with Salient Partners, asked that transcripts of yesterday’s meeting and one in September be combined and given to serious candidates for the job.

“The hypocrisy of this board should be shared with any new CIO that comes forward,” Meyers said. “Talk about running scared.”

The salary for the new position remains capped by lawmakers at $209,000 per year, although Hobson intends to recruit candidates that could fall outside that range.

“I want to leave us wiggle room to talk to people who may need more than that, to see if you can try and push that through,” she said. The job posting will stipulate “a competitive salary,” and said, intentionally leaving compensation details “pretty vague.”

Following individual discussions with the board members, Hobson strengthened the posting to say SDCERA “encouraged diversity” from interested parties, and she would work to present them with minority and women candidates.

The CIO would oversee $10.5 billion in assets.


Photo by Nathan Stephens via Flickr CC License