In his more than ten years as CIO, Jonathan Glidden has completely turned around Delta Air Lines’ formerly deeply underfunded pension plan — a career-defining accomplishment that will be recognized next month with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Institutional Investor’s 2022 Hedge Fund Industry Awards.
Glidden has been Delta’s investment chief since 2011, having joined when the pension’s funded status was just under 40 percent. Today, the pension, operating with a portable alpha strategy, is 90 percent funded, Institutional Investor previously reported.
Glidden studied mechanical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, then pivoted to business, obtaining his MBA from Emory University. He followed that degree with a Master of Science in financial mathematics at the University of Chicago.
In 2002, Glidden joined his alma mater, Emory University, to work in its endowment. He spent five years as the organization’s director of investment analytics before heading to Wilmington Trust, where he worked as the director of portfolio construction and manager research.
After Glidden joined Delta in 2011, the pension’s funded status dipped into the 30s, while in-house staff dropped from 25 to seven, Institutional Investor previously reported. Glidden developed a plan to change: a small internal team supported by an asset manager partner and independent consultant.
In 2021, Glidden and his team won the Allocators’ Choice Award for Turnaround of the Year.
Glidden will be honored alongside other asset owners and hedge fund managers during a gala dinner held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City on April 27. As previously announced, II will also honor Chris Hohn, founder and portfolio manager of TCI Fund Management, with the Lifetime Achievement Award for hedge fund managers.
Hohn started TCI, a value-oriented manager, in 2003 after running the European fund at the now-shuttered Perry Capital. A portion of TCI’s management fees go directly to the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, a charity set up by Hohn and his wife, Jamie Cooper-Hohn.
For more information about the Hedge Fund Industry Awards, please visit the event website. At the dinner, the allocator and hedge fund manager winners will also be named. Institutional Investor is now conducting a wide survey of managers, who will vote for the allocator nominees. Allocators, in turn, will vote for the hedge fund nominees they believe should win.