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Andrew Ward, 41
VP and CIO, The Boeing Company
What is life like when you run $50 billion in defined benefit and $30 billion in defined contribution assets for plan participants scattered across the country? "You spend a lot of time on airplanes," says Ward, which is entirely appropriate, seeing as the beneficiaries of his work are the employees of Boeing. And while the aerospace juggernaut has spent years and billions producing its latest work—the Dreamliner—Ward's predecessor (the University of Chicago's Mark Schmid) and his 20-person team (including Bradly Leak) have themselves been immersed in innovation. "In 2007, we moved into an LDI framework," Ward says. "This doesn't mean we're all long-dated bonds, though. As of today, 55% of our assets are still in global equities, private equity, real estate, real assets, and absolute return strategies." This asset mix, Ward says, has led to their big 2012 initiative. "We're trying to develop a total-fund risk framework for the portfolio. We want to boil things down into a subset of high-level risks in the plan. We have a good sense of the risks within the separate asset classes, but now our goal is to better understand how asset classes will interact with each other under certain scenarios." This work—particularly the partial pre-crisis immunization—has allowed the company to continue its focus on its core competency of making airplanes. For a man who travels as much as Ward, this is a virtuous cycle of the first order.
The Established: The only question is what will these five be doing 10 years from now. Having already risen up the asset owning ladder's many steps to become the lead investors on their teams, this group represents a subset of the 40 Under 40 (well, in some cases, nearly under 40...) that will lead the rest into the next decade. The challenge for their boards: fending off enticing offers from other funds, and businesses, desperate for their talents.