The board of directors of the Pennsylvania Public School Employee Retirement System (PSERS) elected Wednesday to appoint Benjamin (Ben) Cotton as the plan’s chief investment officer.
Cotton brings more than 25 years of corporate leadership, investment and internal control experience to the new role.
Annual salary is $515,000. In addition, he also receives compensation in the form of his one-time quality assurance payment of $10,000. Cotton will succeed James H. Grossman Jr., who is retiring in May 2022.
Cotton recently completed his PhD in Leadership and Learning in Organizations through Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College in December 2022. Prior to that, he was a senior managing director of the United Auto Workers Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, which was set up to invest assets and manage medical benefits. For over 800,000 auto industry workers and their eligible dependents.
According to a press release, Cotton previously worked at Ford Motor Company, where he helped manage more than $55 billion in pension, insurance and cash-related investments. Prior to that, he worked in the investment industry as a research manager and investment analyst.
The board also thanked Bob Devine, who served as interim CIO during the nationwide search that began in May 2022.
Cotton currently resides in Michigan. He is a United States Marine Corps veteran from 1988 to his 1992, including duty in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait during Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
He holds a BS in Business Administration and Finance from Midwestern State University in Texas and a Masters in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University. In 1999, he earned the title of Chartered Financial Analyst.
PSERS was founded in 1917. According to the release, as of June 30, 2022, the retirement plan had a total net worth of $71.2 billion, with approximately 248,000 active members, 247,000 retired school employees, and 27,000 vested non-members. We have active members.