CHICAGO -- Jan. 21, 2014 -- The Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund (CTPF) named Carmen Heredia-Lopez as its new chief investment officer.
As CIO, Glen Ellyn resident, Heredia-Lopez, 43, oversees the globally diversified multi-billion dollar portfolio of cash, equities, fixed-income, real estate and alternative investments -- and ensures the plan's growth and long-term prosperity through the continued prudent management of its nearly $10 billion investment portfolio. She previously served for three years as CTPF's director of investments.
"As a Latina in finance, I am honored to assume this CIO role. CTPF values diversity -- not just in its staffing, but in its investing," said Heredia-Lopez, CFA. "We have committed 32 percent -- more than $3.24 billion in assets -- to qualified minority- or women-owned investment managers. I look forward to continuing this work."
"It's a privilege working to help secure the retirements for CTPF's members. Without a guaranteed source of revenue, our fund relies heavily on strong investment returns to fund pensions and provide lifetime income for our members, who do not receive social security benefits. CTPF pensions provide the primary source of revenue for more than 27,000 beneficiaries."
Over the past 35 years, CTPF earned an annualized rate of return on its investments of 8.86 percent -- above its assumed rate of return -- despite underfunding by the General Assembly and CPS. The plan earned 13 percent on its investments in fiscal year 2013 (ended June 30, 2013).
"Carmen has done an excellent job for CTPF during the past three years and this is a well-deserved promotion," said CTPF Executive Director Kevin Huber. "Her professional experience and leadership have helped us to achieve excellent investment returns and to develop a strong investment team at CTPF."
Heredia-Lopez earned an International MBA from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business in 1997 and also studied at the London School of Economics. She graduated magna cum laude in international management and marketing from Georgetown University. Heredia-Lopez serves on the Board of Directors for The Robert A. Toigo Foundation, where she received the "Leading by Example" award this year -- and also on the boards of the CFA Society of Chicago, the National Society of Hispanic MBAs and the Alternative Investments Forum. She is also a member of the New America Alliance, which promotes the economic advancement of the American Latino community, and the National Association of Securities Professionals.
Established by the Illinois state legislature in 1895, the Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund manages members' assets and administers benefits. The $9.7 billion pension fund serves approximately 63,000 active and retired educators, and provides pension and health insurance benefits to more than 27,000 beneficiaries.