Allocators have chosen the University of Cincinnati’s Karl Scheer as chief investment officer of the year.
Institutional Investor honored Scheer at the fifth annual Allocators’ Choice Awards, held on Tuesday in New York City at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The winners were voted on by asset owners including staff at pension funds, endowments, foundations, family offices, healthcare funds, and sovereign wealth funds.
Scheer was one of ten chief investment officer finalists selected based on nominations from peers, managers, and other members of the institutional investing community. His nominators cited his work to foster community among Big Ten CIOs, his strong belief in his university’s mission, and his transparency with colleagues and peers. “He is honest in his comments and sets a tone with his team and peer colleagues to embrace respectable honest debate,” one nominator previously told Institutional Investor.
Several other asset owners and institutions were honored over the course of the evening. David Erickson, Ascension Investment Management CIO, and David Holmgren, Hartford HealthCare CIO, were named Advocates of the Year for their work to develop junior talent and present opportunities for young staffers on their teams.
The Employees Retirement System of Texas was named Innovator of the Year for its Launchpad Program, an early-stage hedge fund seeding partnership with PAAMCO led by portfolio manager Panayiotis Lambropoulos. In 2022, ERS upsized that program, committing capital to Lijaro Asset Management.
The Indiana Public Retirement System, meanwhile, was named Investment Committee/Board of the Year. A nominator highlighted the board’s decision to “boldly” lower the pension fund’s return assumption after a year of strong performance.
In the Partnership of the Year category, the winner was MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative’s Aggregate Confusion Project — a initiative that includes the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, Qontigo, MFS Investment Management, AQR Capital Management, and Asset Management One. The project works to “reduce the level of noise in ESG measurement” by improving data available to managers and allocators.
The University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Management Company won Team of the Year. The endowment was nominated for seamlessly executing its succession plan, allowing CEO and president Britt Harris to focus on big picture, long-term strategy as the newly-named CIO Rich Hall focuses on investing.
Vanderbilt University received the Turnaround of the Year award, for the work done by Anders Hall, vice chancellor for investments and CIO, and his team to post strong five-year returns, while adding more innovative, high-performing strategies to the portfolio.
Institutional Investor also honored Doug Brown, vice president and CIO at Exelon Corp., with a Lifetime Achievement Award, for his contributions to his own fund and the industry at large.
II additionally recognized the 2022 Rising Stars. These include: Jewel Chen (portfolio manager, private equity, Texas Permanent School Fund), Benjamin Frede (senior portfolio manager, private equity and private credit, Public School & Education Employee Retirement Systems of Missouri), Michael Gould (director, Lehigh University), Thomas Kim (investment officer, San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association), Albert Lee (director of investments, University of California Office of the Chief Investment Officer), Bhakti Mirchandani (managing director, Trinity Church Wall Street), Mallika Nair (senior investment strategist, Yale New Haven Health), Silpa Pericherla (managing director, investments, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation), Shawn Pope (director of investments, Cox Enterprise), and Adam Solan (investment director, Institute for Advanced Study).