Ronald Schmitz, Chief Investment Officer (retired), Virginia Retirement System
As former Chief Investment Officer for the Virginia Retirement System (VRS), Ron Schmitz managed and oversaw the investment program for the fund that serves over 800,000 active members, retirees and beneficiaries. Over his 11 years with the VRS, Ron saw the fund increase from $49.6 billion to over $101 billion.
Prior to VRS, Ron was responsible for the investment of all funds for the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund, the State Accident Insurance Fund and the cash management account for state and local governments.
In addition, Ron served for over four years as the Chief Investment Officer of the Illinois State Board of Investment, where, he was responsible for asset allocation, manager selection, performance evaluation as well as the management of an internal fixed income portfolio.
Before his public fund experience with Illinois, Ron worked for Illinois-based Kraft Foods, where he got his start in fund management in 1982; Sears Roebuck & Co. where he served on the Chief Financial Officer’s staff as an industry expert on pension fund management activities as well as employee benefits and executive compensation; and at Blue Cross & Blue Shield Association where he was Managing Director Pension Benefits for a decade.
Together with his bride of 45 years, Ron splits his time between Virginia and Wisconsin and enjoys doting on their four grandchildren.