Kathleen Gallagher Retires from Ford

The award-winning chief investment officer of benefit plans for Ford Motor Co. put the company on a path to liability-driven investing.


Kathleen Gallagher, chief investment officer of benefit plans at Ford Motor Co., has retired after a 31-year career with the automaker, Institutional Investor has learned.

Gallagher, who joined Ford in 1985 after graduating from Harvard Business School with an MBA, oversaw $65 billion in global defined-benefit assets — including the company’s $41 billion U.S. pension fund — as well as $14 billion in U.S. defined-contribution assets. Earlier this year she was named one of Institutional Investor’s 2016 U.S. Money Masters, for Large Corporate Pension of the Year.

Gallagher took on her current role in 2007, steering the pension fund toward a liability-driven investment strategy. “It’s more of a risk management job,” Gallagher told Institutional Investor in May. “Every dollar in the portfolio has a job to do.”

Gallagher has been replaced by Erin Rohde, who was appointed CIO of benefit plans on July 1. Rohde was previously director of global treasury operations at Ford.

Over the past nine years, Ford has been taking steps to reduce volatility in the pension’s funding status and make it easier for the company to anticipate future contributions. In 2012 the company offered 90,000 employees lump sums and removed $18 billion in liabilities from its balance sheet.

Ford is now the third large corporate plan to lose its chief investment officer this year, after Paul Cavazos left DTE Energy’s $10 billion plan to join Irving, Texas–based outsourced CIO American Beacon Advisors and Raymond Kanner retired from IBM’s $150 billion global retirement system over the summer.


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