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Sam Kunz, 40
CIO, Policemen's Annuity and Benefit Plan of the City of Chicago
"Am I 40 or 41? I don't even count anymore," Kunz says when asked for his age for this list. He'll be 41 in June. Kunz has been the CIO of Chicago's retirement fund since April 2008. When asked about his goals and ambitions, Kunz replies: "Unlike my wife, who worries about what will happen next month or next year, I try not to make concrete goals. I see opportunities and go for them. I adapt to the situation."Kunz's philosophy on the market and on life more broadly tells us that while our existence is filled with repetition, every day is marked by slight differences. Thus, if you're too focused on what you want to achieve, you can miss opportunities. For Kunz, being the head of Chicago's public pension system comes with its challenges. "Everyone has an opinion—boards, trustees—and it takes a lot of time to build consensus. At some points, we have to be right or wrong and just make a decision and go for it. You can't always take a middle of the road approach." In other words, Kunz says, as a CIO part of the job is about finding not only the nicest gift, but also one with the best wrapping. When managing investment allocations with attention to market volatility and liquidity constraints, it's not just about what you say—but how you sell it.
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.