Associate Portfolio Manager of Absolute Return - San Francisco Employees' Retirement System (0923)

  • 1145 Market Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA
  • Full-time
  • Fill Type: Permanent Exempt
  • Work Hours: Regular
  • Job Code and Title: 0923-Manager II

Company Description

The San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System ("SFERS"), a $34 Billion defined benefit pension plan, offers an exceptional opportunity for the right candidates to serve this historic, well established City Department by engaging in interesting and rewarding mission critical work. Established in 1889 as a fund for families and orphans of firefighters and police officers, today the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System serves more than 75,000 active and retired employees of the City and County of San Francisco and their survivors.

Our Mission

The San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System is dedicated to securing, protecting and prudently investing the pension trust assets, administering mandated benefits programs, and providing promised benefits to the active and retired members of the City and County of San Francisco.

SFERS seeks an experienced investment professional for the position of Associate Portfolio Manager (“APM”) for its Absolute Return portfolio. Reporting directly to the Managing Director of Absolute Return, and the CIO, the APM and the Absolute Return team are responsible for the oversight and management of SFERS’ $3.5 Billion Absolute Return portfolio as of June 30, 2021.

Job Description

$124,072.00 - $158,366.00 Yearly

Appointment Type:
This permanent exempt position is excluded by the Charter from the competitive Civil Service examination process and shall serve at the discretion of the Appointing Officer.

The APM serves as the second in charge of SFERS’ Absolute Return portfolio, overseeing a large portfolio of pension plan assets; advises on manager recommendations for the pension plan; is responsible for conducting complete and thorough due diligence on prospective managers; is responsible for the ongoing evaluation of existing managers; advises on portfolio construction; assures compliance with investment policies; is responsible for the supervision and activities of one or more investment and/or administrative staff.

The APM conducts work with oversight from the Managing Director of Absolute Return. The APM is responsible for the following and will keep the Managing Director informed on the relevant issues:  

Essential Duties:

  • Conducts thorough and ongoing due diligence of existing external investment managers. The APM has a very effective awareness of a manager’s organization, management team, holdings, portfolio construction, drivers of risk and return, headline news, and all other aspects that could affect SFERS’ investments.
  • Responsible for monitoring external manager investment performance and the factors affecting performance, including material differences versus the managers’ underlying benchmarks.
  • Conducts complete and thorough due diligence on existing and prospective managers at an effective level.
  • Advises the Managing Director on the construction of a multi-manager portfolio including effective knowledge of the risk exposures within the asset class as well as for each manager’s portfolio.
  • Writes detailed investment recommendations and reports to be approved by the Managing Director.
  • Presents investment recommendations to the Retirement Board.
  • Reviews and evaluates key partnership terms and documents. Responsible for complete due diligence on a manager’s offering memorandum, subscription documents, and other materials related to an existing or prospective investment. Leads communication with internal and external counsel, as necessary.
  • Coordinates with investment managers, SFERS’ custodian, and service providers to ensure compliance with manager investment guidelines and SFERS’ investment policies.
  • Responsible for monitoring capital calls and distributions from external managers, and other functions related to managing relationships with external managers.
  • Responsible for assisting the day-to-day relationships with external managers, consultants, custodians, and service providers.
  • Represents SFERS with distinction and class to external managers and other stakeholders.
  • Takes direction from senior investment staff and completes assigned tasks accurately and on time.
  • Responsible for the supervision and development of an Investment Officer. 


Minimum Qualifications

These minimum qualifications establish the education, training, experience, special skills and/or license(s) which are required for employment in the classification.  Please note, additional qualifications (i.e., special conditions) may apply to a particular position and will be stated on the exam/job announcement.


Possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in finance, economics, business administration, accounting, statistics, or similar field; AND


Four (4) years of investment experience with an investment management firm, pension plan, university, endowment, foundation, corporation, family office, or consulting firm.


  • Possession of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, may substitute for an undergraduate degree in a different field than described above.
  • Possession of a graduate degree in Business Administration, Finance, Statistics, Investment Management, Economics, or similar field, may substitute for an undergraduate degree in a different field than described above.
  • Three (3) years of investment management experience at a position equivalent to an APM or higher with an investment management firm, pension plan, university, endowment, foundation, corporation, family office, consulting firm or other investment institution with at least $1 billion in assets, or seven years of such responsibility at a firm of any size, may substitute for an undergraduate degree in a different field than described above.

Desirable Qualifications:

The stated desirable qualifications may be used to identify job finalists at the end of the selection process when candidates are referred for hiring.

  • Knowledge and prior experience with alternatives, specifically absolute return and credit-oriented strategies.
  • Experience in understanding complex investment  strategies and concepts, as well as absolute return investment trends and developments.
  • Underwriting experience on co-investments and direct investments.
  • Prior experience in reviewing, evaluating, and negotiating complex partnership and contractual agreements.
  • Strong organizational and analytical skills with a demonstrated proficiency in Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
  • Experience with HFRI, Albourne Castle, eVestment, Caissa, Style Analytics, StyleAdvisor, and Bloomberg.
  • Strong writing and presentation skills with a genuine interest in the subject matter.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills (written and verbal).
  • Excellent attention to detail and commitment to delivering the highest quality work.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and under the pressure of tight deadlines.
  • Ability to effectively prioritize and handle multiple, time-sensitive tasks.
  • Highly self-motivated and hardworking with an ability to work and think independently as well as in a collaborative, team-oriented environment.
  • High level of professionalism and an ability to build networks and positive working relationships with key internal and external contacts.
  • Sound judgment, integrity, and moral code.

Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point during the recruitment and selection process. If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at

Note: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco.

Selection Procedures:

Applications will be screened for relevant qualifying experience. Additional screening mechanisms may be implemented in order to determine candidates’ qualifications. Only those applicants who most closely meet the needs of the Agency will be invited to participate in the selection process. Applicants meeting the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed advancement in the selection process.

Additional Information

Receipt of applications may close at anytime, but not before October 27, 2021.  Applicants are encouraged to submit their application immediately.

In line with the Official Public Health Order to slow the spread of COVID-19, “shelter-in-place” has been issued for all San Francisco residents that is expected to be in effect until further notice. As a result, Department of Human Resources (DHR)’s office (located at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103) is currently closed to the general public. If you have any questions, please feel free to email the Human Resources Analyst listed on this announcement.

Additional Information Regarding Employment with the City and County of San Francisco:

If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the recruitment analyst, Tess Bobila at [email protected]

CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT:  All City and County of San Francisco employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment.  For details on how it is applicable to your employment, please click here.

The City and County of San Francisco encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to apply. Applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (associated with cancer, a history of cancer, or genetic characteristics), HIV/AIDS status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, or other protected category under the law.

Carol Isen - Human Resources Director