Baltimore City Employees’ Retirement System Seeks to Staff Up Investment Team

By David G. Barry

The Baltimore City Employees’ Retirement System (ERS/EOS), which has operated without a chief investment officer since a 2018 scandal, is looking to beef up its in-house investment team.

The $2.1 billion system is seeking to hire a senior investment analyst and an investment analyst. Both positions will report to Executive Director David A. Randall, said Aja Jackson, the system’s director of communications.

For the past four years, the system’s investments have been overseen by its investment consultants – Marquette Associates and Meketa Investment Group – and the board of trustees. The two positions that ERS/EOS is seeking to fill will provide “support,” said Jackson. The plan currently does not list any investment team members on its website. Jackson said the two positions have been vacant, but she did not have specific information on how long they’ve been open.

The system encompasses the Employees’ Retirement System, the Elected Officials Retirement System, the Retirement Savings Plan and the Deferred Compensation Plan for regular and permanent employees in the general administrative service of the city and certain non-teacher employees of the Baltimore City Public School System. It was 81.2% funded as of June 30, 2021. During the 2020-21 fiscal year, ERS/EOS generated a 27.8% return and a net increase of $396 million. That compares to a loss of $46.4 million for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

In 2018, longtime Executive Director Roselyn Spencer stepped down after the city’s inspector general found she misspent more than $218,000 on renovations of the system’s offices.

Also in 2018, Eliot Powell left his role as CIO after a separate city investigation found an ERS board member recruited his business partner to join the agency.