Mass. PRIM Named Best in Innovation

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Asset International-CIO Recognizes PRIM, Executive Director and CIO Michael Trotsky and Deputy CIO Sarah Samuels

BOSTON, MA – The Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board and two of its executives earned high honors for innovation Thursday evening from Asset International-CIO – the latest in a series of industry accolades that PRIM and its staff members have received.

The awards were presented to PRIM Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer Michael G. Trotsky, CFA, and Deputy Chief Investment Officer Sarah Samuels, CFA, during a ceremony Thursday evening at the New York Public Library.  It was Asset International-CIO’s 6th annual industry innovation awards, which recognize institutional asset owners and asset managers for industry-leading practices and innovative operations and initiatives.

Trotsky and the Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, which oversees the $60.7 billion PRIT Fund, were recognized for excellence in innovation in the $15 billion to $100 billion public defined benefit plan category. Samuels was recognized for innovation excellence and leadership in AI-CIO’s “Next Generation” category.  PRIM was the only plan among more than two dozen nominated to receive two top honors.

“PRIM’s success is due to its dedicated staff who lead in utilizing innovative investment strategies,’’ said Treasurer Deb Goldberg, who is Chair of the PRIM Board.  “Michael and Sarah have once again demonstrated a commitment to best practices and this recognition is testament to their outstanding work.”

The awards recognize PRIM’s pioneering approach to asset allocation, hedge fund strategies, risk management and public market research that are now being emulated by other plans and funds.  In particular, PRIM’s Project SAVE initiative, which has produced over $120 million in annual value-enhancing activities, is an industry leading program that is establishing a new best practice standard for cost reduction and return enhancement activities across all asset classes.

Asset International (AI) provides critical data, business intelligence, and information services to the global investment management industry.  It also publishes CIO (Chief Investment Officer) Magazine and the Web site ai-cio.com.

“This is a tremendous honor and, more importantly, it is further recognition for the incredible team we have recruited and retained at PRIM,” said Trotsky.  “Our team is at the forefront in developing innovative practices that enhance investment returns, reduce fees and create value for Massachusetts pensioners and taxpayers.”

Staff members at PRIM have received a number of recognitions for their high level of performance and commitment to excellence.

Samuels was recently named to CIO Magazine’s “40 under 40” list, which recognizes up-and-coming asset owners who have made meaningful contributions to their organizations.  Michael Bailey, Senior Investment Officer – Director of Private Equity, was nominated for the Investor Intelligence Award for Excellence in private equity by Investor Intelligence Network.  The award recognizes the most outstanding and innovative public plan sponsors in North America. Chris Supple, Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel, was awarded the Commonwealth’s Citation for Outstanding Performance for his work on class-action lawsuits in which PRIM was lead plaintiff.  Supple helped secure several nine-figure settlements, including a settlement of $473 million from Schering-Plough, one of the top 25 largest securities litigation settlements ever and the largest ever from a pharmaceutical company.

In 2014, Trotsky was one of Institutional Investor’s six nominees for “Chief Investment Officer of the Year.” At a 2014 Investor Intelligence Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles, Institutional Investor named PRIM its “Public Pension Plan of the Year”, driven in part by its recognition of the many successes of PRIM’s Project SAVE, which it described as “the most aggressive and systematic search for cost efficiencies by a U.S. public pension plan that we have ever seen.”  PRIM has also earned accolades from the Private Equity Growth Capital Council and Buyouts Magazine for achieving the highest private equity performance in the nation.

“PRIM’s greatest strength is the outstanding professionals is has on its staff, serving on its board and serving as committee members,” said Timothy Vaill, former Chairman and CEO of Boston Private Holdings and a member of PRIM’s Investment Committee.  “These professionals never forget that they are serving the Massachusetts taxpayer, and their high level of professionalism and dedication is well deserving of recognition.”

ABOUT PRIM:  PRIM was created by the Massachusetts legislature in 1983 to assist the Commonwealth in reducing its unfunded pension liability, and likewise to assist local participating retirement systems in meeting their pension obligations. Its mission is to maximize the return on investment within acceptable levels of risk by broadly diversifying its $61.7 billion investment portfolio, capitalizing on economies of scale to achieve cost-effective operations, and providing access to high quality, innovative investments, all under the management of a professional staff and members of the Board and its committees.