New Hampshire Retirement System Turns to State of Connecticut for New CIO

By David G. Barry

The New Hampshire Retirement System (NHRS) has hired a new chief investment officer.

Raynald Leveque was tapped to direct the system’s $11 billion investment program. He has served since January 2020 as deputy CIO for the State of Connecticut, helping to manage its $46 billion fund.

He replaces Larry Johansen, who retired on Sept. 1. Johansen announced his retirement after 12 years at NHRS. During his tenure, the system’s assets more than doubled.

Leveque’s background also includes serving as vice president of asset owner strategy for the Bank of New York Mellon and head of asset allocation and director of risk management for the New York State Common Retirement Fund.

In a prepared statement, Leveque said, “we will build on the current investment success, working with the (Independent Investment Commission) and board of trustees to secure an equitable future for generations through investment performance, protecting and growing our retirees’ pension assets, and developing a robust investment office.”

EFL Associates oversaw the seven-month national search.

NHRS had a 29.4% return on investments for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021. It has not yet released its 2022 figures.

The State of New Hampshire and more than 460 local government employers participate in NHRS. It has more than 48,500 active members and 41,000 benefit recipients.

NHRS joins a growing list of state public pension plans that have named new CIOs in 2022. They include the Minnesota State Board of Investment (SBI), Kentucky Public Pensions Authority (KPPA), the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), the Washington State Investment Board (WSIB), the New Jersey Division of Investment, the State of Rhode Island, the Virginia Retirement System (VRS), the Public Employees Retirement Association of New Mexico (PERA), and Mississippi Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS).

Leveque’s appointment means that there are now just four other state public pension funds actively seeking a new CIO: the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System, the Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Hawaii, the Idaho Public Employee Retirement System, and the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System.