After Achieving Top Returns His First Year, David Veal Receives Strategy Award

Caption: In Austin, Chief Investment Officer David Veal (right) receives a Strategy Award for performance during his first year in his new role. Former colleague deputy CIO David Stafford (left) spoke on Veal's behalf during the ceremony.


David Veal, Chief investment officer of the $36 billion The Employees Retirement System of Texas fund, was recently given a Strategy Award by Market’s Group for landing in the top 1% of funds across the country during the pandemic during his first year in his new role. Veal focused on tactically dividing his fixed income team, and reorganizing the risk and portfolio management groups as he introduced himself as the new CIO.

According to his recent interview with Markets Group, when asked what he’s been up to his first year to address the post-pandemic economy, he said,

“We divided the fixed income team into credit and rates teams.  The rates team also adopted the cash portfolio and the trading desk, and so now that's our Treasury and Trading operation that’s its own business unit. We wanted cash to be managed more carefully, particularly in a rising interest rate environment, and that has become a strategic asset class for us. We've also reorganized our risk management and portfolio management group a little bit to really focus more on our philosophies for optimizing the portfolio for a given environment. Before it was more oriented toward tactical asset allocation, making tilts depending on what’s cheap and what's not. Now it's more about: how do we adapt the portfolio properly for the kind of environment that we're in. It's a nuanced approach, but it's an important one when it comes to how you think about managing the allocation overall.”

He also created a new Lone Star internal portfolio for public equities which has been performing upwards of 140 bps. Veal received the award during Markets Group’s Institutional Forum in Austin Texas. Former Colleague David Stafford, deputy CIO for the City of Austin ERS, spoke on behalf of Veal’s achievements as part of the celebration. After receiving the award, Veal participated in a Chatham House fireside chat, during which he explained his investment philosophy and goals for the fund.