IBM Vet Takes Over Missionaries’ Pension Fund

After a three-year hiatus, Noradeen Farlekas returns to asset allocating.

Noradeen Farlekas (Photo via Northeastern University)

Noradeen Farlekas

(Photo via Northeastern University)

The $2.5 billon retirement system for Christian ministry workers has a successor for its retiring chief investment officer.

Noradeen Farlekas started at MMBB Financial Services on June 3, according to executive recruiter Anne Keating, who facilitated the search. Outgoing CIO Candace Cox retires at the end of the month after more than a decade at New York City-based MMBB.

Farlekas brings extensive institutional investment experience, but this is her first CIO role. She previously led a $14.5 billion global equities portfolio at IBM’s massive retirement fund, where she spent almost 20 years. After stepping down in 2016, Farlekas, a PhD holder, taught finance and economics at two universities, her LinkedIn profile shows.

“There were several reasons why MMBB gravitated towards Noradeen,” Keating told Institutional Investor in a Tuesday interview. “She had a great background at IBM for many years, wearing different hats, and came highly recommended by many sources in the market.”

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In 2016, Farlekas earned a doctorate from Northeastern University, specializing in social finance. “I think that appealed to the committee,” said Keating, founder of search firm Fraser Keating Associates.

“She stood out in the candidate pool not only for her investment expertise, but also for her manner and ability to listen and be consultative,” the recruiter continued. “The committee had a sense that she would fit in well culturally.”

MMBB’s staff are “financial realists for people of faith,” according to the nonprofit’s website.