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Christopher McDonough is now Director of Investments in New Jersey

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(Credit: Reuters) This Reuters photo shows Donald Smitherman, 98, kissing his wife Marlene at the end of a dance in Sun City, Arizona.Retirement
March 12
9:04 AM 2014

Christopher McDonough will now be tasked with supervising the 12th biggest public pension in the US as New Jersey's Director of Investments, Bloomberg reported.

The 37-year-old McDonough replaced Timothy Walsh who left the post in August last year to take care of the North American business of Gaw Capital Partners, a real estate investor based in Hong Kong, as its President and Chief Executive Officer. McDonough had been serving as the Acting Director of the New Jersey Treasury's Investment Division since September. McDonough has also been instrumental in helping manage alternative investments worth $20 billion and international equity amounting to over $15 billion in his capacity as the pension fund's deputy director for four years, the report said.

In a statement, State Investment Council Chairman Bob Grady said of McDonough, "He is both a good investor and good manager of people and he will be a great leader of the division."

A Pensions & Investments report on the matter said that Head Trader Michael Wszolek who now serves as the Acting Deputy Director will remain in the position until all the options for the post have been considered by McDonough, according to Department of Treasury Spokesman Christopher Santarelli. That report also said that McDonough served as the Chief Investment Officer of the Philadelphia Board of Pensions and Retirement before joining the New Jersey Division of Investment in 2011.

As of December 31, the state's pension fund held $87 billion in assets. Last month, Governor Chris Christie said that after ten years of enhanced benefits and missed payments, the state's pension system has been underfunded by $52 billion. The governor's fiscal 2015 budget of $34.4 billion provides for a pension payment of $2.25 billion. Christie is now looking at ways to help beef up the pension fund that now provides benefits to 800,000 employees, both current and retired. In his first term, he required workers to fork out more for the benefits they would get, Bloomberg reported.

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