Connecticut names deputy CIO after year-long vacancy

The Connecticut system of pension funds, which allocates 9.2% of its $30bn in assets to private equity, named Laurie Martin deputy CIO to replace Deborah Spalding, who became CIO in July 2015.

Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds (CRPTF) appointed Laurie Martin as its deputy chief investment officer, according to a statement from CRPTF

She began her position on 7 October. 

Among her responsibilities, the deputy CIO collaborates with the CIO in relation to investments, particularly supporting the oversight of CRPTF funds’ performance and reporting requirements and managing relationships with investment consultants.

The Hartford, Connecticut-based pension system manages $30 billion in assets across Teachers’ Retirement Fund, State Employees’ Retirement Fund, and Municipal Employees Retirement Fund. The teachers’ fund allocates 8.8 percent, the state fund 9.6 percent, and the municipal fund 9.9 percent to private equity as of 31 August, according to its latest fund performance document.

Some of its recent private equity commitments include $100 million to buyout fund Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe XII, which closed on $3.33 billion in June; and $75 million to distressed debt fund Clearlake Capital Partners IV, which closed on $1.38 billion in September 2015, according to PEI data.

Martin comes from the treasury services department within Baystate Health, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit healthcare system, where she served as director for 12 years, according to the CRPTF statement. In that role, Martin oversaw Baystate’s investment programme that included endowment, pension, insurance, and operating funds. Before Baystate, she served as an accountant at ITT Hartford and at Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company. Earlier in her career, she was an audit and tax specialist at KPMG.

“In today’s investment environment of low returns, it is imperative that we maintain and strengthen operational efficiency at the lowest possible cost,” Connecticut state treasurer Denise Nappier said in the statement. 

“Laurie’s strong investment acumen and her impressive record in achieving best practices, including back and middle office functions, proved to be most complementary to our in-house team of investment professionals.”

She is replacing Deborah Spalding, who had served as deputy CIO between 2013 and 2015. Spalding became CRPTF’s CIO in July 2015, after which there was a vacancy for deputy CIO, according to CRPTF spokesman David Barrett.