By David G. Barry
Elizabeth B.A. Miller is retiring as chief investment officer of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS).
Miller, who will leave her post on July 8, joined KPERS in March 2011 as CIO. Bruce Fink, KPERS’ deputy CIO for public markets, has been named interim CIO by KPERS Executive Director Alan D. Conroy. Fink has served in his current role since 2013. The system has tapped EFL Associates to conduct a national search for Miller’s replacement.
Miller, who has 37 years of investment management and public service experience, previously served as director of investments, Pooled Money Investment Board, State of Kansas. During her time with KPERS, its assets under management doubled from $13.3 billion in 2011 to $26.5 billion as of December 31, 2021.
This was actually Miller’s second stint as CIO of KPERS. She was the system’s first CIO in 1991, serving through 1996. Miller also served on the KPERS’ board from 2000 through April 2005.
During her tenure, the system’s funded ratio increased from 59% in 2011 to 72.5% in 2020. Also noteworthy, in fiscal year 2021, investments produced a 26.3% return, the third-highest one-year return in the system’s history. KPERS’ average annualized return during the past 11 years was 8.72%, exceeding the policy index benchmark by 0.45% and also exceeding KPERS’ 7.75% investment return target.
KPERS is one of seven state pension funds looking for a CIO. The others are the Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island, the Idaho Public Employee Retirement System, the Minnesota State Board of Investment, the New Hampshire Retirement System, the Public Employees’ Retirement System of New Mexico and Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System.