OPERF’s senior RE officer set to retire

Brad Child will retire from the state pension plan’s real estate investment board in April. The move follows the resignation of the Oregon’s chief financial officer Ron Schmitz in October.

The senior real estate investment officer for the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund (OPERF) is stepping down in April, PERE has learned. Indeed, documents from the Oregon Investment Council (OIC) have revealed that Brad Child will be retiring from his position at OPERF. 

Sources familiar with the situation have revealed that Child will be moving to California, where he has family. Since Child plans to depart OPERF in April, there has yet to be a discussion within the OIC about an interim or long-term replacement. 

The retiring of Child follows the resignation of the OIC’s chief financial officer Ron Schmitz, who left in October to take a similar position with the Virginia Retirement System. One source said there is no connection between Schmitz resigning and Child retiring. 

According to various local media reports, shortly before Schmitz announced his resignation in September, he, Child and private equity investment officer Andy Hayes were reprimanded by the Oregon Government Ethics Commission for violating state ethics law involving travel expenses and reimbursements. The commission alleged that the division's investment officers often traveled in luxury, paid for by the investment firms they oversaw. It also alleged that the officers routinely sought per diem reimbursements covering meals provided for free. 

Schmitz maintained that the travel was strictly by the book, calling accusations alleging otherwise absurd. The commission never formally charged the officers.

Separately, Michael Mueller was named interim chief investment officer. Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler has not publicly announced whether Mueller will remain as permanent CIO or if the state will name a permanent replacement. One source simply stated: “The treasurer is going to be thoughtful in deciding who’s going to permanently fill the role and what it will entail.”