Christopher J. Ailman, CalSTRS is our latest podcast guest with host Michael Oliver Weinberg to discuss the essence of ESG, the future of technology investing, venture capital, China, and a lot more for today's allocators.
Since its establishment in 1913, CalSTRS has been fully committed to maximizing the retirement benefits for its extensive network of educators throughout California. With a staggering $310 billion in assets under management through its defined benefit plan, the pension scheme continuously strives to strike a harmonious balance between achieving targeted returns and addressing industry-wide challenges such as diversification, innovation, potential warning signs from managers, global investment prospects, and much more.
Experience the latest episode of the Improving Alpha podcast, where Michael Oliver Weinberg is joined by Christopher J. Ailman, Chief Investment Officer, CalSTRS. With an impressive 40 years of experience in the business, Christopher’s unwavering passion for constant learning in the face of market volatility and seeking alpha strategies shines through. Don't miss out on this insightful podcast episode - click on the media player above to hear Christopher's valuable insights on:
- what is the true essence of ESG and how will it impact CIOs in the next seven or twenty years? Explore the potential opportunities, risks, and the global CapEx needed so we don’t fry the planet. Discover Christopher's perspective on whether exclusion or engagement is the preferred approach when navigating these waters.
- why governance experiences natural fluctuations and how CIOs can play a crucial role in driving the movement towards enhanced investment board diversity. According to Christopher, it's the concept of "iron sharpens iron" that fuels this dynamic process.
- how is technology being leveraged across CalSTRS portfolio, especially being a division of the state of California, and how is an environment of continual learning helping their investment teams in approaching the next Tesla.
- how he navigates the world of venture capital investments in California, where stringent disclosure laws prevail.
- the insights into CalSTRS' perspective on the role of China in institutional investments - friend or foe?
- And more!
About Christopher Ailman:
Christopher Ailman has been the chief investment officer of CalSTRS since October 2000. He leads an investment staff of more than 200 and oversees a portfolio valued at $307.9 billion as of September 30, 2023. He has more than 37 years of institutional investment experience.
He has served on several boards and advisory boards in the U.S. and U.K. He represents institutional investors on the MSCI Index Editorial Advisory Board, the PRI Asset Owners Advisory Committee, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Investor Advisory Group, and the Toigo Foundation. He is the chair of the 300 Club and co-chair of the Milken Global Capital Markets Committee. In 2016, he was part of the first cohort to achieve a Fundamentals of Sustainable Accounting (FSA) credential.
Ailman is recognized as one of the top CIOs both in the U.S. and globally. He has received numerous awards and recognitions: the Institute for Fiduciary Education’s CIO of the Year in 2000, the Richard Stoddard Award for service in the investment of public pensions in 2003, the Distinguished Service Award for Advancement of Latinos in Business from the New American Alliance in 2006, and Institutional Investor magazine’s Large Public Fund Manager of the Year Award in 2011. In 2013, aiCIO magazine named Ailman the No. 3 CIO in the world and Investment Innovator of the Year. In 2017, Ailman received Institutional Investor magazine’s first Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2018, he was named the top CIO in the world by Chief Investment Officer magazine. He is a regular guest on television and radio and is frequently quoted in major financial publications.
About Our Host:
For three decades Michael has invested directly at the security level and indirectly as an asset allocator in traditional and alternative asset classes. Most recently he was a Managing Director, Head of Alternative Alpha, on the Investment Committee and a board member at APG, a Dutch pension provider. Previously he was the Chief Investment Officer at MOV37 and Protege Partners. Michael is also an Adjunct Professor of Economics and Finance at Columbia Business School, where he teaches Institutional Investing, an advanced MBA course that he created.
Michael is a published author, having written for The New York Times, international investment books and other publications. Michael has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, CNBC, Bloomberg and Reuters. He is a frequent panelist, moderator and lecturer for investment banks, institutional and family office organizations and business schools.