After 15 Years at Exelon’s Helm, CIO Doug Brown Retires

Jessica Hart will officially succeed Brown in July.


Courtesy photo

Legendary Exelon chief investment officer Doug Brown has announced his plans to retire after 15 years at the helm.

Brown will hand over the reins to Exelon’s vice president of investment strategy and public markets, Jessica Hart, on July 1. Hart joined the pension, which manages more than $20 billion, in 2022 from Northern Trust’s outsourced CIO business.

Hart will be the eighth person to work under Brown who has become a CIO, an indication of his long-held belief in talent development. “I call them the Douglas cubs,” Grosvenor COO Francis Idehen previously joked with Institutional Investor.

“Doug’s style with the team and getting the best out of the people around him is not a skill that everybody has,” Hart said. “Doug uniquely is able to draw people in, ask questions, and get the best work out of them. I will never fill his shoes, but it is a fabulous team that he has built here. I just want to continue that investment in talent.”

Although he’s known for developing industry talent, Brown has also made a massive impact on Exelon’s pension portfolio. During his tenure, Brown and his team grew Exelon’s assets under management by $30 billion. His retirement comes on the heels of Exelon’s split from Constellation, which divided one $51 billion pool of pension assets between two different companies.

Constellation’s CIO, Brian Andersen, was de facto CIO-in-waiting prior to the split. When he left, along with nearly half of Exelon’s team, Brown had to rebuild — and find a new successor.


“The table stakes were the right investment experience,” Brown said of the search. “Jessica, given that she ran the retirement OCIO practice that had both the DB and the DC, she was obviously a good match for us.”

He added that Hart won over the team quickly and has proven to be a great leader thus far.

Brown’s career began in 1983 at Chrysler, where he worked in various roles before joining the automaker’s MBA training program. He worked his way up to the role of chief investment officer for the firm, then departed for Exelon after 26 years.

At Exelon, he developed an investment process primarily focused on the plan’s funded status. Brown zeroed in on matching assets to liabilities using credit investments and hedging in the portfolio, he previously told Institutional Investor. The team uses long-only equities, fixed-income, alternative investments, and derivatives to ensure Exelon’s funded status.

In one of his final acts at Exelon, Brown was instrumental in launching the energy company’s Community Impact Capital Fund in 2022. He also helped create the firm’s women and minority owned investment manager initiative and was a member of Exelon’s Corporate Investment Committee and Exelon Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Outside of Exelon, Brown played a role on the board of the Committee on Investment of Employee Benefit Assets, an industry group for corporate pension plans. He serves on the board of trustees at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, and as an independent trustee and board chair for the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust. Institutional Investor named Doug Brown its Lifetime Achievement Award winner in 2022.

As for Hart, she spent nine years at Northern Trust Asset Management, holding several leadership positions before departing for Exelon in 2022. She serves on the Board of Youth Guidance, a nonprofit providing counseling and mentorship to youth.

“Leaving a good team behind, a great successor behind, that’s the biggest part of a leader’s job,” Brown said. “I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that.”