TRS appoints Jerry Albright as new CIO
Nearly a month following the June 16 announcement that Thomas “Britt” Harris resigned his job as chief investment officer with the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, TRS trustees appointed Jerry Albright as the agency's the new CIO.
The TRS announced Albright's appointment July 13. In a news release, TRS board chairman David Kelly describes Albright as capable, experienced and knowledgeable.
Albright isn't new to TRS. He served as interim CIO for TRS before being hired to the position. Before that, Albright served as chairman of the agency's Internal Investment Committee. He also was sole director of TRICOT London, the first international office for the TRS pension fund. He previously served as TRS Investment Division's chief operating officer as well as the director of investment operations.
Albright has Texas roots. Before joining TRS in 1994, Albright was the executive vice president and a member of the board of directors for a multi-bank holding company in Texas. He also served as director on the board of two affiliated banks. He has a bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University.
“Jerry has gained an international reputation as someone who understands the quickly changing landscape of the investment industry and how to stay ahead of the curve,” says Joe Colonnetta, a TRS board member and chairman of the board's Investment Committee. “I am confident Jerry will lead a seamless transition.”
TRS delivers retirement and related benefits that have been authorized by the Texas Legislature and manages a more than $140 billion trust fund established to finance member benefits. Nearly 1.5 million public education and higher education employees and retirees currently participate in the system.
“Jerry has what it takes to build on our success over the past 10 years,” Kelly says.
Ten years is how long Albright's predecessor, Harris, worked at the TRS as its CIO. He left the agency to take a similar job at The University of Texas Investment Management Co., a nonprofit formed in 1996 to oversee investments of the University of Texas.
When Harris joined TRS in November 2006, the pension fund's value was $100 billion. Shortly after his arrival, the fund's value dropped to $67 billion during the 2007-2008 financial crisis. According to TRS, it was under Harris' leadership that the TRS investment team guided the fund back to financial health.
“We've been incredibly fortunate to have Britt lead our investment division and instill a strong culture of excellence over the past decade,” Kelly says. “Not only did he bring a new level of sophistication to our investment program, but he did so during the nation's worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Our strong financial condition today is a testament to his talents and abilities.”
Before working with TRS, Harris served as CEO of Bridgewater Associates, CIO and president of Verizon Investment Management Corp., CIO and president of GTE Investment Management Corp., and managing director for Switzerland-based tech leader Asea Brown Boveri.
“Serving TRS has been one of the great honors of my professional life,” Harris states in a news release. “Our teachers and educators are such important people, and it has been a privilege to serve them. I will greatly miss everyone at TRS, but the fund's organization is very strong and my confidence in TRS staff could not be higher.”