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At Textron, Charles Van Vleet Is Now the Investment Star

Since taking the helm at the Rhode Island company, the assistant treasurer and CIO has embraced actively managed strategies.

Charles Van Vleet enjoyed a 25-year career in banking and asset management before leaving it all behind in 2005 for the world of corporate pension fund management. That was the year Robin Diamonte, CIO at United Technologies Corp., offered him a place on her investment team, hiring him away from his job as a credit analyst and portfolio manager at Credit Suisse. Investing pension assets is “the best role of all,” says Van Vleet, who worked in UTC’s Hartford, Connecticut, investment office until 2013, when Textron lured him to Providence, Rhode Island, to run his own show as assistant treasurer and CIO. Van Vleet set to work applying his investment ideas to the company’s now-$6 billion U.S. defined benefit portfolio. He also oversees a total of $3.7 billion in global defined contribution assets. Three years in, the 56-year-old Van Vleet has reduced passive allocations in favor of active management, driven by his preference for identifying the underlying components, or factors, of a given investment. “Active strategies have more readily identifiable factor-driven styles,” says Van Vleet, who continues “to help [Textron’s] board view the fund in factor space as opposed to capital space.” In addition to its 47.5 percent allocation to global equity and 30.5 percent in fixed income, the portfolio sports 8 percent in private equity, 2.5 percent in structured hedge funds used in a portable-alpha strategy and 6.5 percent in direct real estate. For the three years ended December 31, 2015, the fund earned a 9 percent annualized return, versus 6.8 percent for corporate funds with more than $1 billion in assets in the BNY-Mellon benchmark .

Return to the 2016 U.S. Money Masters.

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  The 2016 U.S. Money Masters Click below to view profiles.

Small Endowment
John Alexander Jr.
Clemson University large public pension
Ashbel Williams Jr.
Florida State Board of Administration large corporate pension
Kathleen Gallagher
Benefit Plans,
Ford Motor Co. Foundation
Denise Strack
Gordon and Betty
Moore Foundation
 
manager lifetime achievement
David Booth
Dimensional Fund Advisors Small Public Pension
Elizabeth Crisafi
San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System Health System
Scott Pittman
Mount Sinai Health System Large Endowment
Sally Staley
Case Western Reserve University
 
Small Corporate Pension
Charles Van Vleet
Textron Investor Lifetime achievement
Peter Gilbert
Lehigh University Endowment Fund
 

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