World’s Largest Educator Fund Names Scott Chan to Succeed Chris Ailman

The search is over.

Scott Chan will become the chief investment officer of the second largest public pension fund in the United States upon the retirement of Chris Ailman on July 1. Following a global search this year by the $332.5 billion California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), the fund promoted Chan from his position as deputy CIO, which he has held since 2018.
Chris Ailman, CIO of the fund since 2000, is considered one of the longest seated CIOs in the United States.
Chan will report to the board's Investment Committee and the CEO.
"As deputy CIO, Scott has already brought so much value to CalSTRS," CEO Cassandra Lichnock said in a written statement. "He is helping lead the alignment of our organizational sustainability goals with our sustainable investing and net zero goals. I look forward to his partnership as we continue to fulfill our promise to California's teachers."

As deputy, Chan is credited with being “instrumental in the vision and direction of the Collaborative Model investment strategy,” which saved the fund $1.6 billion since 2017, and brings more assets in-house and leverages external partnerships to save money, manage risks and increase expected returns to help protect and grow the Teachers' Retirement Fund.”

He will be responsible for overseeing the investment portfolios, directing a growing Investments Branch of more than 225 staff, continuing to contribute to the CalSTRS executive leadership team while developing and implementing CalSTRS investment policies, managing the budget; and fostering a collaborative culture diversity, equity and inclusion.

"Scott has a unique combination of deep institutional investing skills and experience plus a down-to-earth leadership style, and he is committed to upholding the CalSTRS culture," Search Committee Chair Harry Keiley said. "He is unquestionably the right person to lead our talented and diverse team on behalf of California's public educators and their loved ones."
"I am honored to oversee CalSTRS investments and lead our amazing team," Chan said in a written release. "Securing the retirement of our members is extremely meaningful to me personally, as the husband of a California educator, and professionally, as we seek innovative opportunities in ever-changing financial markets."
"I am committed to driving excellence in how we invest, including advancing sustainability practices and promoting diversity across CalSTRS, our portfolio companies, partners and the industry. I'm humbled to follow Chris Ailman, a great friend and mentor, in maintaining our collegial and inclusive workplace culture and continuing to work with our CEO, Cassandra Lichnock, and our board's Investment Committee to achieve our goals."
Before joining CalSTRS, Chan was senior managing director of the University of California, Office of the CIO of the Regents, where he oversaw the $55 billion global equities portfolio. While at UC, he sat on the investment committees of the Los Alamos and Livermore National Laboratories defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans. Chan also served as chief investment officer for the Sacramento County Employees' Retirement System (where Chris Ailman also served) and was a partner and portfolio manager for several hedge fund partnerships, where he gained direct investing expertise.
Chan is a board member of the Toigo Foundation, co-chair and board member of the Institutional Investors Roundtable and serves on the Milken Institute's Executive Counsel for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Asset Management. He holds a master's in business administration from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of California Los Angeles. He is a CFA Institute Chartered Financial Analyst.

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