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TIAA Chief Roger Ferguson to Retire After 12 Years

The TIAA president and CEO is reportedly being considered for a cabinet position in the Biden administration.

Roger Ferguson, the former Federal Reserve vice chairman who led TIAA through the 2008 financial crisis, plans to retire in March, TIAA announced Tuesday.

One of the most prominent Black finance executives, Ferguson has served as the CEO and president of TIAA since April 2008. In that time, he has helped grow the investment firm from $435 billion in assets under management to $1.2 trillion as of September.

“As we look ahead to a post-pandemic world, the next steps we take will be critical to our long-term mission,” Ferguson said in a statement. “I am absolutely convinced — and the board agrees — that now is the time to select the next CEO who can continue, enhance, and drive our strategy for the next decade and beyond.”

The announcement comes after media reports indicated that Ferguson is being considered for a cabinet role in President-elect Biden’s new administration. The Wall Street Journal had reported in late October, prior to the election, that Ferguson was one of the two leading contenders for the Treasury secretary role.

Ferguson is a former vice chairman of the board of governors for the U.S. Federal Reserve System, which he joined in 1997. In 2001, Ferguson “led the Fed’s initial response to the [9/11] terrorist attacks, taking actions that kept the U.S. financial system functioning,” according to TIAA’s website.

He worked at the Fed until 2006, when he departed for global reinsurance company Swiss RE.

Since Ferguson joined what was then known as TIAA-CREF in 2008, the company has grown both clients and assets and made a string of acquisitions including, most notably, the 2014 purchase of Nuveen Investment.

[II Deep Dive: TIAA Funds Get Big Boost from Nuveen Distribution]

“Roger contributed profoundly to TIAA’s success over the last 12 years through his vision and strategy,” board chairman Ronald Thompson said in a statement. “He also greatly enhanced the capabilities we offer those clients and our company’s growth through the acquisitions of Nuveen, our investment manager, and TIAA Bank.”

TIAA said that Ferguson plans to retire on March 31, 2021. The board has hired an executive search firm to “identify and evaluate both internal and external candidates” to succeed him as CEO, according to Tuesday’s announcement.

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