TIAA-CREF Taps Allison as New Head

October 7, 2002 ( - The Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association and College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) has turned to a former Merrill Lynch president to succeed retiring chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) John Biggs.

The giant teacher pension fund announced that it would turn to Herbert Allison, Jr., to be its new chairman, president, and CEO. The 59-year-old Allison is scheduled to take over the top post November 1, succeeding Biggs who is leaving after 13 years with the organization and almost a decade as its leader.

Allison is currently president and chief executive of, a non-profit joint venture of Oxford, Stanford and Yale Universities offering arts and science courses on the Internet. Before that, he was with Merrill Lynch for 28 years before retiring in July 1999 as president and chief operating officer.

Allison graduated from Yale College and served as an officer in the US Navy before earning an MBA from Stanford. He is currently a board member of the United Negro College Fund, the Yale Investment Committee and the Yale School of Management.

President George Bush recently appointed him to the board of a new federal agency, the Vietnam Education Foundation, which he now chairs. Allison is a former board member of the National Association of Securities Dealers and NASDAQ, and past Chairman of the Stanford Business School Advisory Council.

TIAA-CREF, with approximately $259 billion in assets under management, is the primary pension system for people employed in education and research in the United States, serving approximately 2.5 million participants at more than 15,000 institutions.

Biggs’ future is somewhat unclear after Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Harvey Pitts withdrew his support to appoint Biggs head of the new federal accounting oversight board. See Pitt Suport of TIAA-CREF’s Biggs Reported Weakened .