Chris Ailman is the chief investment officer of the $220 billion pool for California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS). He joined CalSTRS back in 2000 after 4 years as CIO of the Washington State Investment Board and 11 years as CIO of the Sacramento Country Employees Retirement System. Chris is a legend in the business and the list of accolades for his work is longer that the list of my podcast episodes.
Our conversation dives in with the flawed business model of government running a money management firm, looming retirement crisis, and challenges of governance and communication with a rotating Board. We then turn to the inner workings CalSTRS, including the use of internal and external managers, managing a long-term asset allocation cruise ship, inflation sensitive investments, risk mitigating strategies, private equity for a huge pool of capital, the innovation lab, ES and G, and building influence among large asset owners.
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