Statement of Candidacy
Greetings CTPF Members. My name is Philip Weiss and I am asking for your vote as I run for re-election as Active Teacher Trustee.
My belief- A pension is a promise, one that should never be broken.
Warren Buffett, one of the people who inspires me said, “Someone is sitting in the shade today, because someone planted a tree a long while ago.” As your CTPF Active Teacher Trustee and the Fund’s Investment Chair, I think of myself as one of those farmers, planting and caring for our CTPF portfolio, ensuring that our members who sacrificed for our children and families are financially cared for well into the future.
I have been a Chicago Public Schools Social Worker for more than 25 years. My parents were both CPS teachers, as is my wife. We are a proud CTU Local One union family. Ensuring that our pension is not diminished affects all of us and our families as well.
The past three years have been exciting, educational and rewarding. Thank you for this privilege and honor to serve as your Trustee. I’ve listened, learned and grown. Since an early age, I’ve invested in stocks, bonds, real estate, commodities and venture capital markets. I’ve set up LLC’s and completed the accounting work on these businesses.
Now, as a seasoned institutional investor, I dedicate my time to providing good governance, including oversight of our investment team’s policies and practices, exploring new investment opportunities and refining CTPF’s portfolio to maximize returns on our investments consistent with industry fiduciary standards.
During my tenure as Trustee, CTPF was recognized, for the first time in its history, as a “Great Place to Work.” This certification was not by default, but by design. Being part of the Trustee team and being committed to our collective success, I was focused on improving productivity by reducing risks while enhancing our operations effectiveness. I ensure our mission and vision are implemented successfully.
After gathering information and assessing our resources, here is what became clear:
#1 CTPF needed fresh talent.
#2 Current staff wanted to feel valued and empowered.
#3 Additional resources needed to be allocated to enhance our operations effectiveness.
There was no time to waste!
Starting with staff, we needed to recruit and retain motivated professionals, good folks who view CTPF as a career, not a job. I actively advocated to recruit employees who were dedicated to the long term success of the Fund.
After sitting through many interviews, I helped hire our Executive Director, who has since been acknowledged in Crain’s Chicago Business as a Notable Financial Leader. A University of Chicago trained Chief Investment Officer soon followed. We then recruited an HR Director, an Attorney, and an Internal Auditor. Pillars of diverse talent are now in place, and the Fund has the management structure, talent and skills needed to provide the leadership in order to serve our operations effectively.
Within the investment domain, under my governance and the CIO’s leadership, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work. We developed a portfolio with a high probability of achieving our actuarial assumptive rates, while taking on appropriate levels of diversification and risk. To the team’s credit, and the Trustees’ affirmation, we did not disappoint.
The Investment Team conducted an asset allocation study followed by a manager structural review of the investment portfolio, with the goal of creating a model investment portfolio. This bespoke portfolio is legally compliant and meets industry standards, while receiving affirmations from our CTPF team including our Trustees and investment consultants.
Noteworthy, since being selected as the Investment Chair in 2021, 2022 and 2023, the Fund’s overall returns have beaten their respective benchmarks while exceeding our minority, women, disadvantaged business enterprise (MWDBE) policy standards. CTPF is no longer following other Funds’ lead, rather, we are providing input on modeling and fund structure and getting noticed within the industry.
Here is my commitment to you!
- I will continue to provide thoughtful investment governance, investing in value creation and growth opportunities, while prudently following our codified due diligence process.
- I will monitor service providers and strengthen our finance and audit functions.
- I will continue to monitor, refine and enforce CTPF policies.
As a CTPF member, you have sacrificed to serve the children and families of Chicago. Thank you! Please, take time to live your passions and enjoy life; it’s priceless. Know that under my investment leadership, CTPF will continue to make sound and socially responsible financial decisions while meeting the industry fiduciary standards.
Your pension is a promise, a promise that should never be broken. Let me continue to be that promise keeper, ensuring you receive your stable, non-diminished, defined benefit income for the rest of your natural life!
- Bachelors in Psychology, University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana
- Masters in Social Work, Loyola University Chicago
- Masters in Educational Leadership, National Louis University Chicago
Disclaimer: CTPF is not responsible for the content of this material and has not verified any of the information.