(TRENTON) – State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio has announced the hiring of New Jersey native Eddie Ramos to fill the newly created position of Diversity Portfolio Manager within Treasury’s Division of Investment (DOI), a role designed to aid the division’s ongoing efforts to identify a wider universe of diverse investment fund managers, brokers, consultants, and advisers to manage the State’s roughly $80 billion pension fund.
The hiring is part of the Murphy Administration’s demonstrated commitment to increasing opportunities for Minority and Women Business Enterprises (MWBEs). Since January of 2018, $1.4 billion out of a total $4.4 billion in new capital has been committed to MWBE fund managers.
The Diversity Portfolio Manager position was one of a number of suggestions borne out of a July 2019 meeting that was arranged by Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. The meeting brought the State Treasurer, her staff, and administration officials together with investment officials from the New York City Comptroller’s Office to discuss best practices in the area of diversity. One of the key takeaways from this engagement was the necessity of a full-time investment professional dedicated to expanding investment opportunities for MWBEs.
Mr. Ramos will play an integral role in DOI’s continued efforts to position New Jersey as a leader amongst public pension plans in utilizing a wider universe of diverse financial professionals.
“From day one we have been committed to fostering greater opportunities for diverse businesses and professionals,” said State Treasurer Muoio. “We have met with peers and leaders in this realm and discussed many ways to use the power of the state’s purse to create a more equitable business climate. We are now at a point where we are seeing many of those discussions bear fruit and the Diversity Portfolio Manager is a key example. Eddie Ramos brings a tremendous amount of experience to the table and we are extremely pleased to welcome him to the Treasury team.”
Mr. Ramos, a Jersey City native, is a Chartered Financial Analyst with over 25 years of investment experience and a demonstrated track record of success. After earning an undergraduate degree he was awarded a fellowship from the Robert Toigo foundation to pursue an MBA from Columbia University. His lengthy experience includes a long history with public pension plan clients, investing in over 50 different countries, working at the first African American firm to handle international equity, and managing money for many MWBE Funds of Funds.
"Having been born and raised in the Garden State, I personally know quite a number of the 800,000 pension beneficiaries who are relying on our team at the Division of Investment to provide them the best returns possible for their retirement funds in return for the hard work and dedicated careers they provided to the state,” said Ramos. “As an investment professional for over 25 years, I am bringing my unique global experiences and strong network in the universe of diverse portfolio managers and funds to cast the net wider in our search for true talent in pursuit of higher returns."
After graduate school he landed his first job at Templeton Investment Counsel in Ft. Lauderdale and was quickly promoted to portfolio manager. After five years, he moved on to Brown Capital Management, one of the first Black-owned firms of its kind at the time, where he was given autonomy to build and manage a mutual fund. He later joined Morgan Stanley as a “liftout” and was given a number of portfolios that were underperforming, overseeing global and international investments, small caps, and emerging markets, as well as a five-star Morningstar rated fund.
Most recently he has led global investment teams at three New York Life Investment (NYLIM) subsidiaries, serving as Senior Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer. Additionally, he has served as a member of the Executive Leadership team at Cornerstone Capital Management where he was Lead Portfolio Manager for Global Fundamental Equities, responsible for turning around $2.3 billion of assets.
Throughout his career Mr. Ramos has developed cross-asset trustee experience, built and led emerging teams, and guest lectured at the university level on the topic of, “Building and Leading Diverse Teams to Achieve Better Results.”
“Eddie has a wealth of investment experience and will be a tremendous asset to Treasury and our Division of Investment,” said Assistant State Treasurer Dini Ajmani. “Not only will he play a pivotal role in building our pipeline of MWBE talent, he will also help ensure that the diversity and inclusion policies and practices of the state’s investment partners align well with our core beliefs for the overall benefit of our Pension Fund.”
“We fundamentally believe that having more diverse decision makers will lead to better investment outcomes,” said DOI Director Corey Amon. “In creating and filling this position, we were looking for somebody who has the ability to immerse themselves in the marketplace to identify more diverse investment professionals. Eddie is a true investment professional who will greatly expand and enhance our efforts in this area.”
The Diversity Portfolio Manager will be fully embedded in the investment decision-making process across all asset classes, participating as a voting member for all investment RFPs and serving as a member of the Asset Allocation Committee and the Internal Investment Committee
The Diversity Portfolio Manager position is designed to communicate a clear message to all stakeholders that an intentional effort focused on diversity is central to DOI’s mission to achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns for the Pension Fund. DOI has laid out numerous goals for the position, including: increasing outreach and leadership presence at MWBE events; meeting with more first time funds led by MWBE talent; collaborating with Treasury’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion to identify opportunities to leverage and share resources to meet common objectives; and measuring and monitoring efforts to identify a wider universe of qualified MWBE firms along with utilization rates.