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Type of Role: Investments

Experience Level: VP/Principal/Director

Location: Tacoma, Washington

Salary: $133K - $188K

The City of Tacoma is looking for a highly qualified Chief Investment Officer (CIO) to provide investment leadership and guidance for the Tacoma Employees’ Retirement System’s (TERS) asset portfolio. The ideal candidate will be an exemplary collaborative partner with experience in financial sustainability.  The CIO must possess a strong understanding of asset allocation, risk management, and investment policy guidelines. Details below.

Position Description

Tacoma Employees’ Retirement System (TERS) is recruiting for the position of Assistant Director, a pivotal role in our executive management team. As the second in command of the department, you will contribute to the day-to-day management and support of TERS, focusing on financial reporting, investment knowledge, budgeting, and operational excellence. This role serves in an acting capacity for the Director when required.

Distinguishing Characteristics: This executive management position demands a strategic leader with a proven ability to collaborate seamlessly across diverse teams. The successful candidate will embody supervisory and organizational authority, playing a crucial role in directing, planning, and coordinating operational areas. Recognized as a representative on behalf of the department and department director, the Assistant Director will contribute significantly to policy implementation and strategic objectives.
Essential Duties: 
  1. Management and Leadership: Directs and manages subordinates, schedules work, ensures quality control, conducts performance evaluations, and leads hiring and discipline procedures.
  1. Financial Management: Manages department financial activities, including budget development and monitoring of budgets, procurement, revenues, and expenditures.
  1. Department Representation: Represents the department to internal leadership, elected officials, boards, commissions, and outside agencies on behalf of the Retirement Director.
  1. Operations Management: Oversees day-to-day TERS operations, ensuring timely and accurate pension/refund payments, processing of contributions, and handling member inquiries.
  1. Investment Support: Collaborate closely with the Retirement Chief Investment Officer, ensuring seamless alignment with investment strategies and communication with the Retirement Director and TERS Board members.
  1. Financial Reporting: Manages financial reporting, Annual Comprehensive Financial Report and Summary Annual Financial Report production, and financial audits to ensure compliance with accounting principles and standards.

Financial and Operational Responsibilities:

The Assistant Director will oversee staff tasked with interacting with TERS members, ensuring all participants comprehend the complexities of the benefit.

Annually, the incumbent will lead the timely preparation of the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, including  collaboration with internal stakeholders and external auditors to facilitate the financial audit. They will stay abreast of GASB standards, ensuring compliance and integrating necessary adjustments into reporting processes.

The individual will also work closely with the Retirement Chief Investment Officer to provide pertinent information for accurate financial reporting. Proactive engagement with external service providers (including the System’s investment consultant and actuary) will inform the process, ensuring alignment with industry standards. Additionally, meticulous record-keeping will support transparency and audit trail integrity throughout the reporting cycle.

Be part of a dynamic team where your leadership, investment knowledge, and collaborative spirit will contribute to the success of TERS. If you are a strategic thinker with a commitment to operational excellence and collaborative leadership, we encourage you to apply. 


Minimum Education*
Bachelor’s degree in business administration, accounting, finance or directly related field

Minimum Experience*
10 years of public or private pension system management including prior supervisory, managerial and/or subject-matter expert experience.

*Equivalency: 1 year of experience = 1 year of education

Desired Qualifications
Investment Experience

Knowledge & Skills

  • Ability to guide and inspire a team toward operational excellence, fostering a culture of high achievement.
  • Proficiency in navigating challenges with adaptability and resilience, demonstrating strategic thinking in overcoming obstacles.
  • Advanced knowledge of accounting, auditing, and retirement fund investment strategies.
  • Adept at aligning investment decisions with broader organizational goals, ensuring portfolios contribute to the overall mission.
  • Experienced in oversight of department financial activity, ensuring fiscal responsibility, compliance with GAAP, TMC, RCW, federal laws, GASB pronouncements, and industry standards.
  • Financial acumen in decision-making and budget management, making sound financial decisions that optimize departmental budgets.
  • Proficiency in communications and experience representing departments to internal and external stakeholders, effectively communicating goals and initiatives.
  • Ability to act on behalf of the Retirement Director when required, assuming leadership responsibilities to ensure continuity and strategic direction.
  • Skilled in collaboration and cooperation within the team and across departments, cultivating a collaborative environment that promotes teamwork.
  • Experience in navigating diverse perspectives with effective interpersonal skills, fostering inclusivity and collaboration within the organization.
  • Advanced knowledge of GAAP, TMC, RCW, federal laws, GASB pronouncements, and industry standards.
  • Effective strategic management and leadership skills.
  • Experience handling sensitive or confidential information.
  • Excellent communication, management, organizational, and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to work independently, self-motivate, and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent editing and proofreading skills.
  • Experience working with actuaries and consultants.
  • Customer service-oriented mindset.

Selection Process & Supplemental Information

City of Tacoma Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Tacoma’s diversity is its greatest asset. Tacoma embraces its multi-cultural and multi-ethnic character. Communities of color and immigrant communities are fundamental to Tacoma’s entrepreneurial spirit, workforce, and long-term success. In Tacoma, equity and empowerment are top priorities, meaning that all Tacoma residents must have equitable opportunities to reach their full potential and share in the benefits of community progress.  One of our goals is for the City of Tacoma workforce to reflect the community it serves. We actively work to eliminate racial and other disparities and welcome candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skill sets and experiences. Our goal is for Tacoma to be an inclusive and equitable place to live, work, and play.

The City of Tacoma is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in its workplace. Applicants are considered for positions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital or veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, and local laws.
Tacoma Employees’ Retirement System

TERS is a defined benefit plan qualified under section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is governed by a nine-member Board of Administration (‘Board’ or ‘TERS Board’) whose members include the Mayor, the Director of Finance, a designee of the City Manager, a designee of the Tacoma Public Utilities Director, three elected employee members, one elected retiree member, and one resident member (not employed by the City) appointed by the eight other members.

The employer contribution is currently 11.34% with an additional employee contribution of 9.2% of gross pay. As of January 1, 2023, the TERS system had an Actuarial Value of Assets of approximately $2.150 billion versus an Actuarial Accrued Liability of $2.153 billion, or 99.9% funded using actuarial value of assets with a conservative 6.75% expected rate of return. TERS investments are governed by the prudent person rule. Accordingly, TERS maintains a well-diversified investment portfolio that primarily consists of global equities, various fixed income strategies, and private equity/infrastructure covering a wide range of investment strategies and objectives.

By statute, TERS maintains an independent Investment Advisory Committee (‘IAC’) to provide additional expertise to TERS in the investment process. This Committee does not have fiduciary responsibility for investment decisions, which remains with the TERS Board. The Retirement Department (which includes both TERS and LEOFF 1) currently has a staff of ten and an annual operating budget of $262 million which includes benefit payments, asset management fees, and administrative expenses.

For more information about the Tacoma Employees’ Retirement System please visit the website at:

Interested individuals should apply online. Please attach a detailed resume and cover letter that includes job experience, major responsibilities and accomplishments related to this position.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received for interview consideration.

Reference checks will be conducted on final candidates and appointment is subject to passing a background check.

Communication from the City of Tacoma:
We primarily communicate via email during the application process. Emails from and/or must be placed on your safe domain list to ensure that you receive notifications in a timely manner. As a precaution, you may also want to check your junk email folders.

For assistance with the NEOGOV application process, questions regarding this job announcement, or if you are experiencing complications while applying, please contact the Human Resources office at (253) 591.5400 by 4:00 pm of the closing date of the job announcement. This will allow us to assist you before the job announcement closes.