Virginia Retirement System CIO to Step Down

September 1, 2010 ( - Virginia Retirement System (VRS) Chief Investment Officer Charles W. Grant announced that he will not consider reappointment to his position at the expiration of his contract in August 2011.

“My decision to step down is due purely to family reasons and the desire to dedicate more time to them,” said Grant, according to a VRS news release. 

The System said its Board of Trustees will begin a search immediately for a new CIO.   

The announcement said during Grant’s leadership of the VRS investment program, the fund took a number of important initiatives, including significant additions to internally managed portfolios, the growth of credit strategies as an asset class and strategy, the establishment of a global equity benchmark for public equities and substantial development of internal research and risk management programs. Grant joined VRS in 1995 as an investment funds manager. In 1998 he became a VRS managing director, followed by the deputy chief investment officer. In March 2005 the VRS Board named Grant as acting chief investment officer, and in August 2005 he was promoted to chief investment officer.   

The Virginia Retirement System (VRS) experienced a 14.1% return on its investment portfolio for fiscal year 2010, ending the year with $47.7 billion in assets.  The three-year annualized return was -4.9% and the five-year annualized return was 3.1%.  These returns compare to the intermediate policy benchmark returns of 15.3%, -4.4%, and 2.9%, respectively for the last one-, three- and five-year periods.    

The fund’s public equity program returned 14.8% and the fixed income portfolio returned 14.2%.  The credit strategies program returned 22.2%, while private equity returned 17.3% and the real estate program returned 1.5%.  

The portfolio included $21.3 billion in public equity, $10.6 billion in fixed income, $7.8 billion in credit strategies, $4.3 billion in private equity and $3.1 billion in real estate, as of June 30, 2010.    

VRS serves approximately 600,000 members, retirees and beneficiaries.