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Type of Role: ResearchOperations

Experience Level: VP/Principal/Director

Location: Santa Ana, California

Salary: $130K - $201K

Established in 1945, the Orange County Employees Retirement System (OCERS) provides retirement, death, disability and cost-of-living benefits to retirees of the County of Orange and certain County districts. Serving approximately 50,000 members, OCERS is governed by a ten-member Board of Retirement that is responsible for managing a $20 billion dollar fund.

THE OPPORTUNITY:

Under the direction of the Director of Investments, this Investment Officer position will oversee the OCERS’ portfolio analytics, investment operations and other related duties. The Investment Officer position provides expert analytical and technical support for the Investment Division in the areas of investment operations, investment reporting, performance measurement, portfolio analytics and other special projects. This position is typically assigned greater responsibility to operate independently than an Investment Analyst. This position is assigned primary responsibility for portfolio analytics and investment operations.

The Investment Officer position reports directly to the Director of Investments and is expected to uphold the highest standards of integrity, accountability, professionalism, customer service, and excellence.

The distinguishing characteristics of this position are (1) significant prior experience and familiarity with public pension funds (or the equivalent) and their portfolio management operations; (2) the ability to perform complex and highly responsible departmental functions with minimal supervision; (3) the ability and proven skills to coordinate activities of custodian bank, proxy voting provider, risk system provider, securities lending provider, cash overlay manager and others engaged professionally by OCERS; and (4) the ability to independently perform investment administrative functions as assigned.

The position is further distinguished from the Senior Investment Officer classification in that the latter performs highly complex assignments in a focused investment-related area that typically requires more substantial public pension fund and/or investment portfolio experience.

CORE COMPETENCIES:

The Investment Officer will be expected to:

  • Recommend and/or make decisions within the scope of their asset class mandate and role
  • Mentor, manage and/or develop junior investment talent as needed
  • Represent OCERS, the Investment Division, and their designated asset class when needed
  • Participate in vetting, onboarding, and training new investment staff
  • Manage investment department initiatives and develop project implementation plans as assigned
  • Maintain a high level of oral and written communication
  • Act as a model of OCERS’ culture
  • Maintain a high level of accountability
  • Contribute to the strategic and long-term goals of the organization
  • Anticipate future asset class challenges and develop plans to optimize future results
  • Have clear expectations on personal career development

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

The Investment Officer will be expected to perform operational, financial, and investment analysis to support OCERS’ system and investment team initiatives and to perform other tasks as assigned. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Serve as the primary contact or liaison with several external service providers, such as custodian bank, proxy voting provider, risk system provider, securities lending provider, cash overlay manager and take the lead in monitoring such providers’ reports, data interfaces, and information systems.
  • Regularly monitor custodian bank, proxy voting provider, risk system provider, securities lending provider, and cash overlay manager data to ensure accuracy and reliability of information.
  • Recommend the selection or termination of vendors for investment management operations for reasons articulated clearly in oral and written analyses.
  • Travel to perform vendor reviews; take a lead role in coordinating meetings when so assigned.
  • Monitor compliance with Board-approved investment policies, strategies, and portfolio guidelines.
  • Work effectively with investment counsel on legal issues.
  • Interface effectively with Trustees and key OCERS staff members, communicating such interactions with the CIO and/or the Director of Investments.
  • Monitor portfolios of marketable and non-marketable securities to assess and maintain current valuation in custodian statements.
  • Prepare materials for Investment Committee meetings with assigned primary responsibility for one or more sections or segments.
  • Work effectively with financial auditors, legislative and regulatory agencies, and others to fulfill information requests.
  • Review memos, reports, and correspondence for quality control.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

Education and Experience:
Graduation from an accredited university or college with a Bachelor’s degree with evidence of professional training in capital markets, investment theory, securities analysis, and portfolio analytic techniques

AND
Three years of experience in investment analysis and/or operations with a pension plan or equivalent institutional investment organization
OR

Substitution: Alternatively, a CFA charter designation with the requisite work experience.

Special Notes, Licenses, or Requirements:

  • A valid driver’s license or the ability to arrange necessary and timely transportation for field travel.
  • The use of a personal vehicle may be required.
  • A complete background investigation is required; a felony or misdemeanor conviction may be cause for disqualification.

Highly Desirable:

  • Master’s degree in Business Administration
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation

Please click here for additional details about the Investment Officer classification.

KNOWLEDGE/SKILLS/ABILITIES:

The Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities necessary to perform essential duties of the position:

Knowledge of:

  • Investment concepts, terminology, styles, models, and strategies, including asset allocation and performance measurement, plus a solid understanding of capital markets.
  • Principles and practices of institutional investment management and modern portfolio theory, specifically within the context of public pension fund management.
  • Pension fund operations, administrative protocols, portfolio design, and oversight requirements.
  • Analytical techniques and tools commonly utilized for the management of pension fund assets.
  • Statistical concepts, methods and models, and their application to investments.
  • Telephone, office, and online etiquette.

Skills/Ability to:

  • Establish and maintain professional relationships with members of the Investment Committee, OCERS’ management and professional staff, and consultants.
  • Use a variety of contacts and resources to remain apprised of developments in investment operations, performance measurement and portfolio analytics as a subject matter expert for the department.
  • Isolate critical investment data to assess the financial risk of investment options, and report those succinctly orally and in writing. Identify key risks to the operations and provide strategies to mitigate or address those issues on a timely basis.
  • Apply investment principles to problems, issues, and assignments at a sophisticated level superior to the skill levels required of an Investment Analyst or Senior Investment Analyst, without supervision and with a minimum of coaching.
  • Explain complex investment concepts in written materials, oral reports, and PowerPoint presentations suitable for trustees, colleagues, and stakeholders.
  • With minimal supervision, prepare one or more sections or components of Board and Investment Committee materials.
  • Interact with external service providers such as: custodian bank, proxy voting provider, risk system provider, securities lending provider and cash overlay manager. Incumbents in this position will be expected to have primary responsibility for one or more of these activities.
  • Utilize and coordinate the delivery of custodian bank services as needed.
  • Differentiate public information from proprietary, confidential, and privileged information in the context of a public pension plan and act accordingly.
  • Assist the CIO and the Director of Investments with a wide variety of research projects.
  • Use computer software to compose spreadsheets, graphs, flowcharts, calculations, and miscellaneous reports, as required.
  • Working knowledge of Bloomberg and any prior experience in commonly used risk systems such as MSCI BARRA, or BlackRock Aladdin or Burgiss or any other risk systems.
  • Coordinate automation initiatives.
  • Communicate in English clearly, concisely, and effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Prioritize conflicting timelines and ensure that projects are completed as required.
  • Produce timely and complete work free from errors.
  • Perform job functions with a high degree of independence and in an ethical and objective manner.

PHYSICAL, MENTAL, AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS:

The following is a description of the physical and mental abilities that are customarily required to perform the essential job functions of this position.

Physical and Mental Demands:

  • Ability to communicate clearly and understandably in person and over the telephone, both one-on-one and in small groups.
  • Ability to operate a telephone, keyboard, computer, and calculator.
  • Ability to interact professionally with members of the Investment Committee, Employers, peers, and consultants.
  • Ability to access a standard office environment.
  • Ability to sit for prolonged periods of time.

Environmental Conditions:

  • The primary workplace is in an office environment with standard office equipment.
  • Peripheral office equipment generates a quiet to moderate noise level.
  • The work environment may include interaction with elected officials, non-elected officials, government agencies, community interest groups, and the general public in the development and coordination of OCERS’ affairs.
  • Out of area travel will be required to attend professional conferences, investment due diligence sessions, and other meetings.

COMPENSATION, INCENTIVE, & CERTIFICATION PAY:

Compensation will be determined based on the experience level, credentials, and personal characteristics of the candidate. OCERS Investment staff are eligible to participate in an annual Incentive Compensation Program upon the successful completion of the program requirements. OCERS offers an additional 5.5% incentive pay for staff with the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

For additional information and details about OCERS Incentive Compensation Policy, please click here.

BENEFITS:

OCERS offers a competitive benefits package that includes a choice of several health plans, annual leave, and paid holidays. Additionally, OCERS has a defined benefit pension plan which has reciprocity with the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) and a deferred compensation 457 plan. OCERS offers up to an annual $10,000 Educational and Professional Reimbursement, a $3,500 taxable optional benefit plan, and a flexible/hybrid work schedule.

For additional information and details about the OCERS pension and benefits offered, please click here.

RECRUITMENT PROCEDURE:

OCERS’ Human Resources Department will screen all application materials to identify qualified candidates. Applications submitted without a completed supplemental information form will be disqualified from further consideration. After screening, the more qualified candidates will be referred to the next step in the recruitment process and notified via e-mail of all further procedures applicable to their application status.

Applications Appraisal Panel (AAP) Application Rating (Refer/Non-Refer):
A panel of job knowledge experts will screen and evaluate all application materials for job knowledge, competencies, and related education and experience as described above. Please be thorough in your responses to supplemental questions as each will be evaluated and rated accordingly.  Additionally, please be thorough in aligning your education and work experience to the competencies and qualifications listed in this bulletin.  Clarity of expression, grammar, spelling and ability to follow instructions will also be considered in the evaluation.  This is a competitive process and only the more qualified candidates will be referred to the next step.

Qualifications Appraisal Panel | Oral Interview:
Candidates will be interviewed and rated by a panel of job knowledge experts. Each candidate’s rating will be based on responses to a series of structured questions designed to elicit the candidate’s qualifications for the job.

Based on OCERS’ needs and the number of applications received, the selection procedures listed above may be modified, and all affected candidates will be notified.

HOW TO APPLY:

Only on-line applications with the completed supplemental questions will be accepted.

E-mail is the primary form of notification during the recruitment process. Please ensure your correct e-mail address is on your application and only use one e-mail account.

Your application should highlight all of the areas in which you have developed expertise, matching your professional experience with the specific qualifications listed above.

It is recommended that you record or print your confirmation page, as this verifies receipt of your on-line application.

You may apply on-line at the OCERS website: https://www.ocers.org/careers-ocers.

For specific information pertaining to this recruitment, please contact Sarah Abrahamson at (714) 569-4818 or email sabrahamson@ocers.org.

Do not submit a resume to this email address as they will not be considered in lieu of the required application process. 

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

EMAIL NOTIFICATION:

Email is the primary form of notification during the recruitment process. Please ensure your correct email address is included in our application and use only one email account. NOTE: User accounts are established for one person only and should not be shared with another person. Multiple applications with multiple users may jeopardize your status in the recruitment process for any positions for which you apply. Candidates will be notified regarding their status as the recruitment proceeds via email through the GovernmentJobs.com site. Please check your email folders, including spam/junk folders, and/or accept emails ending with “governmentjobs.com” and “ocers.org.” If your email address should change, please update your profile at www.governmentjobs.com.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Click here for additional Frequently Asked Questions.

EEO INFORMATION

OCERS, as an Equal Employment Opportunity employer, encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.