WRS News Online

Search Under Way for New SWIB Executive Director


David Stein

 


Rochelle Klaskin

by David Stein, Chair, SWIB Board of Trustees

State of Wisconsin Investment Board Trustees are conducting a search for a new executive director, following the July resignation of Rick Smirl, who accepted a position with Russell Investments. The Trustees are confident with both SWIB's interim leadership plan and the prospects for finding a new executive director. Because SWIB is viewed as a preeminent agency in the public investment management space, we are confident that our search process will attract a strong candidate to move SWIB forward.

During this transition period, the Board of Trustees has appointed Rochelle Klaskin as interim executive director. Rochelle joined SWIB in 2015 as chief legal counsel and was appointed SWIB's assistant director in 2017. She has 20 years of experience counseling organizations, leading teams and filling key leadership roles throughout her career. She has the full support of the Board of Trustees and has strong rapport with both the Trustees and SWIB staff.

Further, David Villa, who has been SWIB's chief investment officer since 2006, continues to lead the investment management division and drive strategies to secure SWIB's strong investment performance on behalf of the Wisconsin Retirement System. Staff is committed to making sure that the WRS remains one of the best funded pension plans in the country. Our year-to-date investment performance (preliminary through June 30, 2018) is above our benchmark. Additionally, our 1-, 5-, and 10-year investment performance for the Core Trust Fund remains strong, and we have outperformed our benchmarks in each of those periods.

Our priority is to find the best individual to lead the organization, and we will remain true to SWIB's values and disciplines in both this interim period and long-term. SWIB's disciplined, prudent, and innovative approach to managing more than $118 billion in assets remains unchanged. We want to assure you that during this transition, staff will continue to work on behalf of the WRS beneficiaries and the other separately managed funds SWIB invests.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact SWIB at 1-800-424-7942 or send an email to info@swib.state.wi.us.