September 28, 2018
Public Safety Personnel Retirement System
State of Arizona
September 28, 2018
Contact: Christian Palmer
Mark Steed named PSPRS Chief Investment Officer
Administrator Smout praises Steed as "right fit" for new era
ARIZONA – Arizona’s Public Safety Personnel Retirement System has promoted Mark Steed to chief investment officer following a national search that produced dozens of candidates who sought to manage the agency’s $10 billion investment portfolio.
Steed, 40, started with PSPRS in 2007 as an investment intern and served an instrumental role in transforming the pension’s once traditional stock-heavy portfolio into a modern, highly-diversified portfolio built to withstand market volatility and crashes while delivering returns.
Named among U.S. public pensions’ “Rising Stars” by Money Market Intelligence in 2013, Steed has successfully managed all PSPRS portfolio asset classes, including private equity, venture capital, fixed income, absolute return, private credit and global trading strategies.
“I have served on a number of investment boards for the last seven years, and, in my experience Mark is among the most capable and dynamic professionals I have seen among institutional investors,” said PSPRS Trustee Harry Papp, who led the agency’s CIO search committee. “He really is the ideal candidate to help PSPRS reach its long-term investment goals and serve its members, employers and taxpayers.”
Papp, who manages a private investment firm, credited Steed’s rise to CIO to his firm grasp of both traditional publicly traded investments and alternative private strategies, including opportunities in private equity, private credit and real assets. He also praised Steed’s integrity and experience with adversity.
Steed holds a Master of Science degree in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University and a Master of Business Administration from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. He also serves as an advisory board member to Institutional Investor, the Investment Institute, and the Institutional Limited Partners Association.
“It’s an honor to serve the membership of PSPRS, CORP and EORP, and I’m humbled to be part of such an outstanding investment team,” Steed said. “I look forward to working with the PSPRS Board of Trustees and employers to develop new strategies aimed at increasing our funding levels.”
Steed served PSPRS as the interim chief investment officer following the June 30, 2018, retirement of chief investment officer Ryan Parham, who is credited with transforming the PSPRS investments into a highly diversified portfolio capable of withstanding market volatility.
Through his career at PSPRS, Steed pioneered the use of predictive analytics and processes for measuring the accuracy of investment team member predictions. Steed also served as a forecaster for the Good Judgment Project managed by prominent behavioral economist Phil Tetlock.
“Mark Steed is the right person for this moment at PSPRS,” said PSPRS Administrator Jared Smout. “Mark’s experience and his vision have been instrumental in crafting the system’s new investment strategy, an approach that balances the need to earn profits for the fund with the need to protect our members, Arizona employers and taxpayers against the potential for another massive downturn in the global financial markets. With Mark’s investment leadership, we believe that PSPRS is in position to accelerate along the path we need to be on for success.”