The same week that Republican Chris Christie took the oath of office to become New Jerseys 55th governor late last January, the states $63 billion public pension fund began searching for a new CIO. William Clark resigned from the Trenton-based New Jersey Division of Investment to become senior vice president and CIO for the Federal Reserves Office of Employee Benefits $11 billion retirement plan.
Clark, 49, was not available for comment. DOI chairman Orin Kramer says Clarks move had nothing to do with changes in the governors office. Investors, however, will be wondering if a new CIO, appointed under a Christie administration, will push to undo the shift in investment strategy. Since 2002, under two Democratic governors, Clark and Kramer had been allies in the battle to reform the New Jersey pension system, pushing the fund to diversify and invest with outside managers, specifically alternative firms such as private equity and hedge fund managers.