The Kentucky Retirement Systems’ chief investment officer has resigned, effective Dec. 31, to accept the same position for the Texas Municipal Retirement System.
KRS Executive Director William Thielen said he received T.J. Carlson’s resignation letter early Wednesday. Carlson has been managing KRS investments since November 2010.
“He’s done a tremendous job for us since he’s been here,” Thielen said. “We certainly hate to see him go but understand the opportunity.”
Carlson moves to a more robust fund in Texas, which has $22 billion in investments and more than 90 percent of the funds available to cover accrued liabilities, according to the agency’s annual financial report.
The $14.5 billion KRS, by comparison, has $17.1 billion in unfunded liabilities.
Regardless of the pension systems’ current funding ratio, directing KRS’s investment strategy remains an attractive job, Thielen and Carlson said. The soon-to-be-departed CIO noted the state will begin making full actuarially required contributions in the next two-year budget cycle.
“I’ve appreciated working here in Kentucky and was glad to be involved in trying to help move the program forward, and I wish everybody the best of luck in continuing to move it forward and meet the challenges that Kentucky and KRS face going into the future,” Carlson said.
He declined to share his salary in Texas, only saying it’s more than his current $199,512 salary.
The KRS board had tabled consideration of a contract for Carlson that included a pay raise, but Carlson said that wasn’t a determining factor in his decision to accept the Texas offer.
Thielen said the board would decide how to proceed in replacing Carlson. KRS hired a national firm during the 2010 CIO search, he said.
Thielen also confirmed that Bo Cracraft, director of equity assets, resigned Wednesday to become head of U.S. operations for Sparrow Missions, a Frankfort-based nonprofit.