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Xerox’s Chief Investment Officer Retires

After more than a decade, Carol McFate is stepping down with no clear successor.

  • Leanna Orr

Xerox Corp.’s chief investment officer is retiring after more than a decade overseeing the company’s retirement assets in North America and the U.K.

Carol McFate, whose last day as CIO is today, has led Xerox’s defined benefit and defined contribution plans since November 2006, according to a company spokesperson. While confirming her retirement, the spokesperson did not reply to an emailed question on whether Xerox has found a replacement to oversee its more than $12 billion of retirement assets.

“Over the past 10 years, we built a team to manage retirement assets in the U.S. and Canada, and instilled a liability and risk focus throughout,” McFate said when reached by phone for comment. “I’m proud to say that our participants’ benefits are now more secure than when we started.”

When McFate arrived at the Norwalk, Connecticut-based Fortune 500 company, a third-party outsourcer managed its pension plan — an arrangement she’d been told to reexamine. By June 2009, her eight-person investment team was managing the assets in-house under a liability-driven program aimed at driving Xerox’s defined benefit plan to full funding.

“Seven years ago what I was doing was outside the norm,” McFate said in 2014, the year Institutional Investor named her Top Small Corporate Pension Investor. “The race we’re trying to win now is against liabilities.”

[II Deep Dive: Carol McFate Is Out to Win the Race Against Pension Liabilities]

Prior to her role at Xerox, McFate spent decades in corporate treasury departments, according to her LinkedIn profile. She worked her way up to treasurer of American International Group during the 1990s, and departed in late 2002 to become a global treasurer at insurer XL Group.

McFate had less experience as an investor — and much more in corporate finance — than was typical of pension fund CIOs. She engaged with the tight-knit, private-sector pension community through the Committee on Investment of Employee Benefit Assets, or CEIBA, and continued to be involved with the industry group throughout her Xerox career.

“The CEIBA community was instrumental in helping me get up to speed in this business,” said McFate. “I’ve made some very good friends among these are incredibly bright, principled people.”