TIAA-CREF has appointed Roger W. Ferguson Jr. as its new president and chief executive officer, the pension giant’s trustees announced today, and has also named Ronald L. Thompson as its chairman of the board.
Herbert M. Allison, Jr., the current president and chief executive of the company, formally the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund, is retiring on April 14.
Mr. Ferguson is the former head of financial services at Swiss Re, responsible for the reinsurance company’s proprietary asset-management unit, where he managed $200-billion in assets. He has also served as vice chairman of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System. Mr. Thompson has been a TIAA trustee since 1995 and was chairman and chief executive officer of the Midwest Stamping and Manufacturing Company from 1993 to 2005.
Mr. Allison leaves the position he has held since 2002 after a period of drastic change for TIAA-CREF. Although still the leading provider of retirement plans for higher-education employees, TIAA-CREF has had to do more to win over customers who simply have more choices when it comes to retirement plans.
TIAA-CREF has expanded its product lines beyond pensions, offering financial services, life insurance, 529 college-savings plans, retail mutual funds, IRA’s, after-tax annuities, and Keough retirement-savings plans. It has also increased customer services, added offices closer to campuses, and undertaken its most aggressive marketing campaign ever.
With $435-billion in assets, TIAA-CREF serves 3.4 million employees of more than 15,000 institutions. —Erin Strout