Virginia Retirement System Names New CIO

By David G. Barry


Two years after being named chief investment officer of the State of Rhode Island, Andrew Junkin is leaving to take a new role.

Junkin was named CIO for the Virginia Retirement System Board (VRS). He will replace Ronald S. Schmitz, who announced in November that he intends to retire at the end of this year. Schmitz joined VRS in 2011 after being CIO for the Oregon Public Employees’ Retirement System. During his tenure at VRS, the fund has grown from $51 billion to $101.8 billion. It serves more than 750,000 active and inactive members, retirees and beneficiaries.

Junkin joined Rhode Island in June 2020 after serving for five years as president of Wilshire Consulting. All told, he spent 15 years with Wilshire, working with public and corporate pension funds, foundations, endowments and insurance companies.

Korn Ferry led the VRS search. The VRS board held 15 meetings in considering candidates and deciding upon Junkin. Rhode Island’s plans to replace Junkin were not immediately known.

The Rhode Island CIO works for the state treasurer and manages the $10.5 billion Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island. The plan made news earlier this year for saying that its 2022 private equity investing will blow past its $200 million to $250 million pace, likely ending up at between $290 million and $320 million.

In addition to Rhode Island, other public pension funds that are looking for a CIO include the Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System, the Idaho Public Employee Retirement System, the Minnesota State Board of Investment, the New Hampshire Retirement System, and the Public Employees’ Retirement System of New Mexico.