Ex-Putnam CRO Martens joins TIAA-CREF

Erwin Martens, former chief risk officer at Putnam Investments, has joined the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) in the newly created position of executive vice-president forrisk management.

TIAA-CREF is a financial services company serving 2.9 million education and research employees at 15,000 institutions. It has $261 billion worth of assets under management. "This is a new and very needed position for the company. As we expand our products and services, the area of risk management takes on greater importance,” said Herbert Allison, chairman and chief executive of TIAA-CREF. The firm declined to give further details on the proposed expansion of products and services.

Based in New York, Martens will report directly to Allison. A spokesman told RiskNews that Martens “will be working closely with the chairman to provide state-of-the-art [market, credit and operational] risk management". According to TIAA-CREF, Martens, who will officially begin in his new role in June, plans to build a “small and compact” risk team, though it declined to specify its ultimate size, or the identities and timing of additional hires.

Martens reported to chief financial officer Irene Espebes while at Putnam. A Putnam spokeswoman told RiskNews that Espebes will also assume chief risk officer duties until a new head of risk is named.

During Martens’ time at Boston-based asset manager Putnam Investments, the asset manager won Risk’s 2000 asset management risk manager of the year award. Martens previously held senior risk management positions at Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse.

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