Police & Fire Retirement System of the City of Detroit Seeks Own CIO

By David G. Barry


The Police & Fire Retirement System of the City of Detroit (PFRS) is seeking its own chief investment officer – a move that comes some three months after the death of former CIO Ryan Bigelow. As CIO of the Retirement System of the City of Detroit (RSCD), Bigelow managed the assets of both of its two retirement systems: the $3 billion PFRS and the $2 billion General Retirement System.

Bruce Babiarz, a PFRS spokesman, said the PFRS board has decided to bring aboard its own CIO. It does not have a specific timeframe but is focused on finding the “most qualified person,” he said. The PFRS board has posted the job but has not hired an executive search firm, Babiarz said.

The General Retirement System board, meanwhile, has not made a decision on whether it will seek a permanent CIO. Kevin Kenneally, who is managing principal of KJK Associates, LLC, is serving as interim CIO of RSCD and is thus overseeing both pension plans. He served as deputy CIO of RSCD between January 2018 and December 2019. Previously, he was deputy CIO of DTE Energy.

Both systems feature a defined benefit component and a defined contribution benefit. The City of Detroit was given a 10-year reprieve from making payments to the two pension plans as a result of its 2014 bankruptcy.

Bigelow, a father of eight, died on March 18 of cancer. He had joined RSCD in 2011 after serving as an investment officer for the State of Alaska.