NHRS Director of Investments Recognized as a Top Public Pension CIO

Trusted Insight magazine highlights 30 pension chief investment officers

Nov 03, 2017
  • Investments

For Immediate Release: November 2, 2017
Contact:  Marty Karlon, Public Information Officer, (603) 410-3594; [email protected]

CONCORD, NH – Larry Johansen, Director of Investments for the New Hampshire Retirement System (NHRS, the retirement system), was recently recognized as one of the top 30 pension chief investment officers in the country by Trusted Insight, an investment trade publication.

In his position as Director of Investments, Johansen is responsible for providing expert investment counsel to the NHRS Board of Trustees and Independent Investment Committee.  He serves as the primary staff liaison on investment matters and directs all aspects of the retirement system’s investments.

Compared to the members in the InvestorForce Public Defined Benefit Net Universe, which represents 283 public plans totaling more than $599 billion in assets, NHRS performed better than 90% of its peers over the three- and five-year periods and better than 80% of its peers over the one-, 10-, 20-, and 25-year periods.

“While this is a great honor, credit for the retirement system’s investment performance resides with more than any one single individual,” Johansen said. “The Independent Investment Committee (IIC), internal staff, and our investment consultant, NEPC, all play a key role in the performance of the investment program, as does the Board of Trustees, which, with input from the IIC, sets the investment policy and hires the investment consultant.”

NHRS recently reported a 13.5% investment return for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, outperforming the Total Fund benchmark return of 11.9%.  The three-year, five-year, 10-year, 20-year, and 25-year returns for the periods ended June 30, 2017, were 5.8%, 9.8%, 5.7%, 6.8%, and 8.2%, respectively.  The retirement system’s assumed rate of investment return is 7.25%.

At the close of the fiscal year, the retirement system’s unaudited net position held in trust was $8.29 billion, an increase of approximately $820 million over the prior fiscal year, which stood at $7.46 billion. This is the first time NHRS assets have exceeded $8 billion.
Johansen has been NHRS director of investments since January 2010, coming to NHRS from the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS), one of the largest public retirement systems in the country, where he served in senior level investment and actuarial positions.

Johansen holds numerous actuarial credentials and a degree in mathematics and economics from the State University of New York at Buffalo.  He has been a member of the Pension Task Force of the Governmental Accounting and Standards Board, served in multiple leadership roles, including president, for the American Academy of Actuaries, and served on the board of the Conference of Consulting Actuaries.

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About NHRS

NHRS provides retirement, disability, and death benefits to its eligible members and their beneficiaries.  The State of New Hampshire and nearly 470 local government employers participate in NHRS for their employees, teachers, firefighters, and police officers.  NHRS has approximately 48,000 active members and 33,000 pension recipients. NHRS administers a defined benefit plan qualified as a tax-exempt entity under sections 401(a) and 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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