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Allocator Voices - Inspiration through innovation

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About Group

Inspiration through innovation

Institutional Investor announces Allocator Voices, a prominent consortium of allocators from across the globe that were nominated by their peers for their leadership in driving inspiration through innovation in their approach to both their personal and professional lives. The Innovators hope to help further inspire our industry with stories, interviews and tools that can embed themselves into the practices of our everyday lives, organizations and the industry as a whole. As representatives of change, look to The Innovators as the world’s leading consortium to help advance the practice of asset allocation globally.

It’s with great honour to announce and applaud these influential individuals who have the passion to leverage their voices to push the industry forward. Congratulations to all! 

*Presented in an alphabetical order by fund name.

Meet The Innovators

Christian Böhm

Chief Executive Officer

APK  (Austria)

Since 1989, Christian Böhm has brought to his role at the $6.3 billion multi-employer pension fund his experience as a civil servant for the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Department of Labour Law, and Industrial Relations. He was the 2019 recipient of the Gold IPE Awards: best pensions fund for Outstanding Industry Contribution.

Ramon Tol

Senior Fund Manager Equities

Blue Sky Group (Netherlands)

At the $19 billion multi-employer pension fund, which manages the pension assets of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Ramon Tol manages the selection and monitoring of the external equity managers, and implementing and evaluating transitions. He has published two articles about transition management in the Journal Of Trading (Fall 2016, Spring 2017).

Ivonne Forno

Director General

Laborfonds (Italy)

Ivonne Forno is the Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer at the $2.5 billion fund for the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol region. In her current role since 2017, she has broken with Italy-fund tradition by venturing into alternative assets, as part of its strong relationship with regional authorities.

Erik Bennike

Head of Credit

PensionDanmark (Denmark)

At one of the 50 largest pension funds in Europe, with EUR 32 billion in AUM by the end of 2018, Erik Bennike leads credit investments including emerging market debt, high yield and investment grade corporate bonds, leveraged loans and CLOs. At PensionDanmark, he sits on the TAA/SAA and ESG committees.

Jan Erik Saugestad

Chief Executive Officer

Storebrand Asset Management (Norway)

At Storebrand Asset Management, the investment arm of the Storebrand Group, Jan Erik Saugestad has since 2002 served as Portfolio Manager, CIO and now CEO. During his tenure, the group has grown in its role in climate action and sustainable investments, and size as the largest asset manager in Norway.

Benjamin Deng

Chief Investment Officer

China Pacific Insurance (People's Republic of China)

Benjamin Deng built and developed the strategic allocation from scratch toward a long-term, 10- to 20-year view of the $211 billion fund. Under his leadership at the third-largest insurance group in China, he has overseen the June 2020 launch of the Global Depository Receipt, which was the largest IPO in London in the past few years.

SungSik Cho

Managing Director and Chief of Client Asset Management

Miraeasset Life Insurance (Republic of Korea)

As the Managing Director and Chief of Client Asset Management at Miraeasset Life Insurance, Sung Sik Cho in 2014 launched the Miraeasset Variable Insurance Portfolio. The MVP fund, which he also manages, is designed for enhancing long term returns based on a globally diversified asset allocation. 

Charles Woodhouse

Chief Investment Officer

QSuper (Australia)

At the superannuation fund since 2019, Charles Woodhouse has defined his role by collaboration, directly working with executives and trustees on investment implementation policy. By leading the investment team and research into philosophy, market trends, and investment processes, he has fostered greater product innovative within the fund and services the fund provides members.

Con Michalakis

Chief Investment Officer

Statewide Super (Australia)

As CIO since 2008, Con Michalakis has achieved significant top quartile returns for the $10 billion superannuation fund by taking highly-concentrated in coveted assets and a contrarian position. In addition, he serves the Investment Committee.

Leslie Lenzo

Chief Investment Officer

Advocate Aurora Health 

At the $12 billion health service organization, the ninth-largest not-for-profit in the country, Leslie Lenzo has completely restructured their portfolio. Operating under an “evolution” rather than “revolution” approach has helped diversify the portfolio by taking down their fixed income allocation and putting it into a diversified, idiosyncratic hedge fund portfolio. She has sought out diverse managers as an untapped source of alpha.

David Erickson

Chief Investment Officer

Ascension Investment Management

As CIO since 2015, David Erickson is a man for all seasons: In his role at the Catholic endowment, he oversees a variety of accounts, including a health care system operating fund, defined pension and contribution plans, and additional assets at charitable foundations, totaling approximately $40 billion.

Angela Miller-May

Chief Investment Officer

Chicago Public School Teacher's Pension Fund

Angela Miller-May has put together a strategic asset allocation plan at the $10.5 billion Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund. CTPF has invested 44% of their total assets with MWDBE (Minority, Women, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) managers. Miller-May mandated that every RFP must have at least one minority manager in the final round. Miller-May testified on behalf of the Fund before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion. Her testimony highlighted the approach that CTPF has used to increase opportunities for diverse investment managers over the last 20 years.

Douglas J. Brown

Senior Vice President & Chief Investment Officer

Exelon Corporation

Since 2009, Doug Brown has managed a wide range of investment activities including the DB pension fund, nuclear decommissioning trusts, VEBA trust, DC and employee savings plan and the Exelon Foundation totaling $40 billion in assets. They have taken a liability-based approach with the pension fund and created a robust return generating portfolio which included alternatives to meet their needs. Doug has built a successful team with great diversity (not only based on race and gender, but also based on experience and thought) with limited turnover.

Rosalind Hewsenian

Chief Investment Officer

Helmsey Charitable Trust

Roz Hewsenian has leveraged her experience as a consultant, asset manager and asset allocator to grow Helmsley Charitable Trust’s assets from $2.5 billion to $6.2 billion. The charitable trust has allocated more to “safe” assets, while also investing in alpha-generating hedge funds that can provide some downside protection. Helmsley’s philosophy of not boxing managers into specific asset classes carried over to the investment team, which Hewsenian has structured as a group of generalists who work across the entire portfolio.

Andrew Palmer

Chief Investment Officer

Maryland State Retirement & Pension Systems

As CIO of the $55 billion public pension plan since 2015, Andy has developed the plan-wide ESG Risk committee, which makes Maryland one of the earliest public pension plans to look at ESG across the entire portfolio. The plan retirement provides death, disability and retirement benefits for more than 405,000 of its members.

ERIC NIERENBERG

Chief Strategy Officer

Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board (Mass PRIM)

At the $75 billion pension fund, Eric brings his hedge fund experience to the role of CSO: Previously, he was Mass PRIM’s Director of Hedge Funds and Low Volatility Strategies. As part of a larger plan initiative call Project SAVE, Eric narrowed the number of hedge fund relationships, while reducing fees, and keeping up returns.

Bill Coaker

Chief Investment Officer

San Francisco City & County Employees' Retirement System

Bill Coaker has led two successful turnarounds at his firm, during which the $26.5 billion public pension fund has ranked in the 5 percent against peers, for returns over each of the past 1, 3 and 5 years. At SFERS the Sharpe Ratio ranked in the 10th percentile, respectively.

Dominic Garcia

Chief Investment Officer

State of New Mexico Public Employees Retirement System

A New Mexico native, Dominic Garcia is one of the youngest CIOs in a public plan. Since he joined the $16 billion public pension fund in 2017, he has integrated a risk-based approach, separating alpha and beta in its investment philosophy, which has helped the system produce strong risk adjusted returns and exceed benchmarks.

Kirk Sims

Emerging Manager Program Director

Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS)

Kirk Sims heads the Emerging Manager Program at the $157 billion public pension fund, which since its 2005 inception has committed $3.7 billion to one of the largest programs of its kind. Over the next three to five years, the program expects to invest another $3 billion.