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Position Information

The Arlington County Retirement Board is seeking an experienced and accomplished investment executive to serve as the Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer for the Arlington County Employee's Retirement System (ACERS). This investment executive will manage and oversee the investment of assets in collaboration with the Retirement Board (Board).  This Executive Director reports to the Board and to the Board Chair and administratively serves as a central point of responsibility and accountability for ACERS. This is a highly visible position and the Executive Director must understand and respect the requirements of operating in a public environment.

ACERS was established by the Arlington County Board in 1953 as a defined benefit plan for its employees. Retirement and survivor benefits as well as disability benefits are provided to over 8,300 Arlington County Uniformed and General employees and certain School Board employees.  The System is governed by the Retirement Board consisting of seven voting trustees comprising employees, retirees and appointees by the County Manager and the County Board.  There are also three substitute trustees.  The Executive Director leads a team of three individuals: Assistant Director, Analyst, and Accountant (part-time position).

The Board and the Executive Director's primary responsibility is the investment of ACERS' assets. ACERS essentially operates as an investment committee and the System has no role in determining the size, type, and administration of retirement benefits. Arlington County's Human Resources Department is responsible for benefits administration. 

 

The System’s net position at June 30, 2020 totaled $2.527 billion, an increase of $114 million from June 30, 2019.  The System is financially and actuarially sound with a funded ratio of 101.2% as of June 30, 2020.  For the past 20 years, the funded ratio has ranged between 90% and 136%; 14 of these years, the System was over 100% funded.

Key responsibilities for this position include:

 

  • Ensure operation of the System in accordance with its mission, vision and core values, and state and federal law.
  • Advise and confer with the Board on financial, economic, and political trends and developments affecting the System. 
  • Formulate and make recommendations to the Board, in conjunction with outside advisors, on all aspects of fund management including:
    • Governance
    • Investment policy
    • Portfolio asset allocation
    • Asset rebalancing 
    • Expected risk and return parameters
    • Investment manager selection and termination
    • Actuarial assumptions
  • Monitor and evaluate investment managers and service providers to ensure compliance with performance expectations, guidelines, and contracts, and resolve issues, as necessary. 
  • Ensure that proper controls are in place to safeguard assets.
  • Negotiate and execute contracts with general partners, investment managers and service providers and coordinate legal review with counsel.
  • Develop materials and coordinate trustee education sessions and conferences to support ongoing trustee professional development. 
  • Establish and maintain relationships with current and potential investment managers, private equity general partners, service providers, and peers.
  • Manage the annual reporting cycle, including the preparation of the actuarial valuation analysis and the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.
  • Administer the disability appeals process (~5 cases the past 10 years).
  • Attend ACREA (Arlington County Retired Employees Association) meetings (twice per year) to provide a System update and answer member questions.  
  • Represent ACERS as a subject matter expert and interact with members, elected officials, and other stakeholders, as necessary.
This Executive Director will serve as a strategic investment leader with broad asset class knowledge or experience. This individual will be a leader with an in-depth understanding of global economics and capital markets and investment strategies and vehicles.  This leader will understand the principles and practices of public fund investing, institutional investment operations, and investment policy development.

 

Selection Criteria

Minimum:  Bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, or other related area and at least five years of institutional investment experience with a positive track record of investment returns in excess of appropriate benchmarks plus experience as an advocate of defined benefit plans, managing a diverse workforce, and effectively coaching/mentoring employees.

Substitution: Additional qualifying full-time directly related experience may be substituted for the degree requirement.

Desirable:  Preference may be given to applicants with a master's or higher level degree, certification as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), knowledge of federal and state pension laws, and experience in one or more of the following areas:

  • public plan sponsor investments.
  • working with a variety of private investment partnership structures. 
  • collaborating with public, corporate, or private boards. 

 

Special Requirements

A pre-hire background check will be made on all candidates who are selected for employment. It may include checks of the following: criminal record, driving record, education, professional licensure, and credit history. You may be required to sign a release authorizing the County to obtain your background information.


Employees

Investor | Government Pension

United States

Manager

Daniel Zito

Investor

United States