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November 19, 2018

LACERA Appoints Lou Lazatin as CEO

Pasadena, Calif.—The Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA) today announced the appointment of Lou Lazatin as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Lazatin brings to LACERA over 30 years of service-oriented leadership experience in large healthcare organizations within the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. She succeeds Robert Hill, Interim Chief Executive Officer, who served for 14 months and provided excellent leadership based on his 25 years of service with LACERA. Hill returns to his prior position as Assistant Executive Officer and is assisting in Lazatin’s transition.

Lazatin joins LACERA following her most recent position as CEO at Shriners Hospitals for Children of Southern California. To improve the quality and expand the availability of pediatric surgical services at Shriners, she led and established an innovative shared services business model with Huntington Memorial Hospital, including the construction of a $100 million medical center in Pasadena. She previously served as President and CEO of Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, where she ran a $252 million fundraising campaign and oversaw the improvement of quality and safety measures resulting in HealthGrades naming Saint John’s as one of “America’s 50 Best Hospitals.” She also led completion of the construction of the replacement campus of Saint John’s Health Center after the Northridge earthquake.

Among her other community efforts, Lazatin currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House.

“We could not be happier about Lou joining our dedicated team,” said Vivian Gray, Chair of LACERA’s Board of Retirement. “In our national CEO search, conducted by recruiter Korn Ferry, we looked at over 200 candidates because we wanted to find a professional with the right skills—and, importantly, the right vision—to successfully lead LACERA into the future for the benefit of 165,000-plus members, including the more than 40,000 retirees and dependents to whom LACERA provides health benefits. Lou brings a fresh and compelling perspective to LACERA along with a proven track record of taking complex organizations to the next level of success and service. She has our full support and confidence to execute on her innovative vision for enhancing LACERA’s world-class investment and service model.”

“Lou is the right champion for our members—ensuring they can retire with financial security,” said David Green, Chair of LACERA’s Board of Investments. “Her leadership at some of the nation’s most prominent healthcare organizations gives her the necessary expertise and knowledge to understand and address the various needs of our members. Lou’s extensive operational experience, coupled with her commitment to constructively engage with our stakeholders, makes her a unique leader to grow our fund, deepen our relationships, and expand our services.”

“LACERA is recognized in California and around the nation as a best-in-class fund in its space, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead it through its next stage of development,” Lazatin said. “I’m energized by LACERA’s success in driving industry-leading returns and am eager to execute on a vision that further enhances LACERA’s excellence on every level and across pension and healthcare services. I look forward to working with the amazing team at LACERA to continue to provide our members with high-quality services, a promise of security and transparency, and a flexible, friendly approach to delivering benefits.”


CIO Jonathan Grabel Receives Industry Innovation Award

On December 13, LACERA Chief Investment Officer Jonathan Grabel was honored at the 9th Annual Chief Investment Officer Industry Innovation Awards gala in New York City as the winner of the 2018 Industry Innovation Award in the category Public Defined Benefit Plan Between $15 Billion and $100 Billion. He was selected from a group of distinguished finalists from pension plans across the U.S.

The annual awards ceremony is hosted by the publication and communications firm Chief Investment Officer to “highlight the truly innovative approaches to asset management and asset owning, separating the merely different from the meaningful,” with the goal of changing the way people think about the investment business. Winners are chosen by the CIO editorial team in conjunction with CIOs from some of the country’s most influential companies and organizations.

Grabel’s strategic approach to investing for LACERA over the long-term is featured in this article on the CIO website.

Congratulations and well done, Jon!