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Tough Task: Recruiting Talent for Corporate DB Plans

The small pool of top job openings and the often lower pay than on Wall Street are challenges. Still, doing good and buoying an underfunded plan are strong appeals.


Chief Investment Officer | May 7, 2020



The Chief Investment Officer article, "Tough Task: Recruiting Talent for Corporate DB Plans," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Deb Brown on some of the ins and outs of corporate pension plans. The article is excerpted below.

Going to work for a corporate defined benefit (DB) pension plan has its own challenges. You’ll likely make less money than on Wall Street. Do you want to be CIO? The openings are scant.
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In the US, just 16% of private workers had a defined benefit plan last year, as opposed to 86% of public workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“There really are no new plans being created,” said Debra Brown, consultant at executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates. “This is a finite space.”
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Rising to the Challenge

That scarcity situation makes it difficult when asset allocators look to recruit or retain talent at corporate pension plans. But they’re not without their own weapons in their arsenal.

For some recruits, the inherent challenges that come with corporate pension plans that have rapidly rising liabilities actually add to their appeal. Dealing with risk and getting a plan fully funded can be an absorbing and satisfying project.

“There are plenty of interesting problems to solve at corporate pension plans in addition to a mission many relate to,” Brown said.
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Corporate pension plans also have at least one major advantage: They can offer stock options into their company. “CIOs can participate in the success of a company,” Brown said. “That’s appealing, and that’s something that obviously other asset owners might not have at their disposal.”

To read the full article, click here.




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Tough Task: Recruiting Talent for Corporate DB Plans