Robin Diamonte: At the Helm of a Large Corporate Pension Plan

A pension investment officer juggles the demands of ERISA guidelines, corporate constraints and participants’ retirement goals.


Robin Diamonte is closing in on a decade as investment chief of the now $24 billion pension fund at United Technologies. She also oversees the company’s $21.5 billion in defined contribution assets and an additional $10 billion in foreign pension assets. Early in her career, Diamonte made the transition from electrical engineering to pension fund management and has never looked back. Today she is focused on providing the best retirement benefits she can, despite the closure of the legacy pension plan.

At a roundtable discussion for the nine winners of the 2014 Institutional Investor U.S. Investment Management Awards, Diamonte shared some of her lessons learned:

On today’s treacherous investment landscape

“Everything seems expensive, and everybody’s complacent, so it’s worrisome. The complacency is more worrisome to me than any bubble risk.”

On pension oversight

“In the corporate world we are governed by ERISA. You need to document performance and strategy, and different changes and decisions to be prepared if questions come up.”

On complex investment strategies

“We do something called structured beta. It’s not smart beta; it’s structured beta. We get exposure to a market through futures, and then we have a portable alpha portfolio on that.”

Diamonte is Top Large Corporate Pension Investor of the year. For more of her thoughts, read the full roundtable discussion.