Oregon aims to build world-class investment culture

When John Skjervem joined the Oregon Investment Council as CIO five years ago, he was surprised to find out that the nearly-$100bn system had long been operating with what he called “a skeleton crew.”

The system had been successful, but its small staff, antiquated equipment, and its division into two physically separate offices, all posed long-term risks, according to Skjervem. After making his concerns known, the Oregon state legislature responded this summer by passing a budget that adds 27 positions to the investment division over the next two years, for a new total of 66 positions.

“When I was hired, I was surprised to learn that we were managing a portfolio of such size and such complexity with such limited staff,” Skjervem told MMR.

The new hiring authority will help the investment division build a worldclass investment culture, Skjervem said, even in a relatively small market like Tigard, Oregon (population 52,000), where the investment division is housed. The new hires will create a stronger and more diverse investment staff, and build on previous improvements, like the consolidation of office space and the installation of new technology, Skjervem said.

“It’s like a do-over,” he said. “You get a brand-new office, you get essentially to double the staff, so you get to inject it with the types of people that you think are going to be most energizing and complement the existing staff in terms of diversity and inclusion. It’s really exciting to think about building a culture that’s unique to the Oregon investment division and a culture that people want to be a part of, that’s stimulating and inspiring so they want to come to work every day.”

Read the full story: Oregon aims to build world-class investment culture

Published by Money Management Report/Pageant Media.

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