Investors - DECEMBER 7, 2022

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Hawaii ERS appoints new CIO following extensive search

by Kali Persall

The $21.97 billion Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) of the State of Hawaii has appointed Kristin Varela as its new CIO following a nationwide search that yielded a pool of more than 200 applicants.

Varela joins Hawaii ERS from the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) of New Mexico, where she spent eight years, first serving as senior portfolio manager, real assets, before becoming interim CIO and then deputy CIO. At New Mexico PERA, Varela oversaw the delegated implementation of a $17 billion pension portfolio, ensuring the long-term solvency of the plan and serving more than 90,000 active and retired members. Prior to that, she spent more than six years at the First National Bank of Santa Fe, serving as trust securities specialist and then an investment analyst, according to her LinkedIn page.

Varela has nearly 15 years of experience in the institutional investment industry and has served in the public and private sectors throughout her career. She speci

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