Corey Amon has been named director of the state Division of Investment, which manages a $78 billion public employee pension fund that is one of the largest in the nation.
Amon’s appointment comes nearly a year after Gov. Phil Murphy tried put his own mark on the State Investment Council, nominating eight new public members to replace the team that served under Gov. Chris Christie.
Five of Murphy’s nominees — institutional investment advisor Ted Aronson, Leonard Carr of global investment manager PDT Partners, New America Alliance CEO Danielle Beyer, real estate developer Wasie Boraie, and private investment firm manager Deepak Raj — are still awaiting Senate confirmation
The Senate confirmed two other Murphy picks: Samir Pandiri, the CEO of Asset Servicing at The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation; and Vaughn Crowe, who works with financier Raymond Chambers’ The MCJ Amelior Foundation.
Earlier this month, Murphy withdrew his nomination of Susan Soh, the chief of strategy and development at Sightway Capital. Soh had also never received a Senate confirmation hearing.
The most prominent State Investment Council member to be dropped by Murphy was Tom Byrne, a former Democratic state chairman and the son of former Gov. Brendan Byrne.
It’s not unusual for a governor to put their own team in place. Christie axed Orin Kramer, a major Democratic fundraiser who had been named by Gov. Jim McGreevey. As a gubernatorial candidate in 2009, Christie lambasted Gov. Jon Corzine for reappointing three council members who had supported investments that lost $25 billion in 2008, including $178 million in Lehman Brothers.
Christie named Bob Grady, a campaign advisor and former George H.W. Bush administration official, to replace Kramer. He picked Byrne when Grady stepped down in 2014.
Amon has served as acting director since last July and had been deputy director since 2014.
“I’m pleased to support the SIC’s recommendation that Corey Amon assume the role of Director in a permanent capacity,” said State Treasurer Elizabeth Muoio. “Corey’s diligent oversight of the pension fund’s day-to-day operations, his responsiveness to the concerns of pension holders, members of our office and other critical stakeholders, and his proven commitment to upholding the fiduciary standards required by the office make him a natural fit for this position.”
Amon had been the assistant treasurer of Ryder System and a private sector portfolio manager and research director before joining state government.