Connecticut hires MTA's Crawford to oversee pension funds

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Sean Crawford will begin Monday as chief investment officer of the $34 billion Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, state Treasurer Denise Nappier announced.

Crawford had held the same position at New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority since 2014. There, he oversaw the investment activity for the authority’s $15 billion defined benefit plan, deferred compensation plan, captive insurance company and other post-employment benefits plan.

The state’s independent Investment Advisory Council unanimously supported the move, Nappier said Wednesday.

Crawford will head the Treasury’s pension funds management division, with responsibility for collaborating in the development and implementation of investment policy; conducting due diligence and fund performance evaluation; assisting in the recommendation of external investment advisors, consultants and other service providers; and directing the day-to-day administration of the investment program.

“We are fortunate to have Sean’s experience and skills contributing to the important work of the Treasury’s PFM division," said Nappier. "As the [MTA's] first chief investment officer, he built an impressive record in establishing an investment management framework and generating high performing risk-adjusted returns."

Crawford has 21 years of investment and research experience. From 2000 to 2014, Crawford held senior positions with Brown Brothers Harriman, Barclays, Lehman Brothers and McDonald Investments.

He holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science and a master of arts in political economy from New York University.

He has been a chartered alternative investment analyst since 2005.

“The challenging investment environment will require diligence, persistence and patience as we strive to fulfill the commitments of the pension and trust funds,” Crawford said.

Carol Thomas, interim chair of the Investment Advisory Council, worked with Nappier in evaluating candidates, along with the IAC’s personnel subcommittee,

The overall value of the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds was $34.4 billion as of Dec. 31. Nappier said is was its highest level ever at the end of a calendar year.

Overall, the CRPTF exceeded the investment performance of 70% of its peers, according to Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service data.

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Public pensions Denise Nappier State of Connecticut Connecticut