NC Pension System CIO Steps Down

August 26, 2009 ( - The chief investment officer managing North Carolina's $60 billion in pension funds has resigned from her post.

According to the Associated Press, State Treasurer Janet Cowell announced Tuesday that Patricia Gerrick, who was hired five years ago by then-Treasurer Richard Moore, resigned effective Monday. Cowell spokeswoman Heather Franco declined to comment why Gerrick stepped down, citing state personnel confidentiality laws, and Gerrick did not return a phone call by the AP.

While the recent economic downturn resulted in a 14% loss on pension fund investments for the year ending June 30, Cowell said earlier this month that the decline was anticipated. The AP said she praised Gerrick for her duties in a news release

There will be a national search for Gerrick’s replacement that could take as long as six months. In the interim, state retirement systems director Michael Williamson will handle the post. Stephen Cummings, chief executive officer of EnnisKnupp, will serve as an investment adviser after being hired recently to review the investment office.

The news report said Gerrick was paid $340,000 a year. Her pay nearly doubled last year after Moore received authority by lawmakers to raise salaries as a way to recruit and retain top investor talent.

Controversy over compensation for public fund investment management has been in the news recently as t he San Diego County Employees Retirement Association board approved a compensation plan that could top $1.4 million a year for an outside consultant to manage the county’s $6.3 billion pension fund (see San Diego County Approves $1.4M Comp Plan for Outside Investment Consultant ).