The Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi has found a new chief investment officer after roughly seven months of searching.
Mississippi PERS announced February 14 that it hired Robert Clark to replace former CIO Lorrie Tingle, who retired at the end of June after more than 20 years with the retirement system. Clark started as CIO on Tuesday, after previously serving as portfolio manager at Southeastern Trust Co. in Chattanooga, Tennessee since 2012, according to the statement.
Clark “will serve our members and the state of Mississippi well with his more than two decades of experience in financial services and investments,” Ray Higgins, executive director at Mississippi PERS, said in the statement.
Before Southeastern Trust, Clark served as chief financial officer at Secure Waters, vice president in the wealth management unit of BB&T, and a wealth-services team leader at SunTrust Bank, according to the statement. BB&T and SunTrust merged in December to become Truist Financial Corp.
Mississippi PERS had $28.6 billion in assets under management at the end of June, with the pension plan about 61 percent funded at that time, according to its document for fiscal year 2019. The retirement system posted a gross-of-fees return of 6.87 percent in the year through June, the document shows, and an annualized gain of 10.53 percent for the 10 years through the same month.
[II Deep Dive: Investment Chief Lorrie Tingle Leaves Mississippi Pension]
Deputy CIO Andrew Hoeniges had been working as Mississippi PERS’s interim CIO prior to Clark joining the retirement system, Institutional Investor reported last year. A spokeswoman for PERS declined to comment beyond the pension fund’s announcement.