The trustees for the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System on Tuesday voted to hire state budget administrator Duncan Baird as the system's permanent executive director.
The trustees decided in a voice vote to approve a motion by trustee and state Treasurer Dennis Milligan to hire Duncan as the executive director. He is set to starting March 31 at a salary of $149,862.
The action came after the trustees interviewed system chief investment officer Carlos Borromeo, actuary Jody Carreiro and Baird for the post on Tuesday.
Baird, 39, has worked in Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s administration since January of 2015 and previously served in the state House of Representatives as a Republican from Lowell from 2009-2015. He also worked for Arvest Asset Management in Lowell from 2004-2009.
“We felt like we had a good mix of investment experience and legislative experience and also outreach experience that we felt would be a good opportunity for our executive director,” board chairman Candace Franks said after the trustees voted to hire Baird.
Baird is starting March 31 because “we are going to transition him between his position as budget director and his position over here so he is going to be helping out here on our legislative process too, but we need a little time to transition between the two,” Franks said.
The system’s former executive director, Gail Stone, retired at the end of last year after she said she felt that she didn’t have any other option when two trustees gave her the option of retiring. She had worked for the system since 1990 and served as the executive director from July 2001 through the end of last year.
Baird’s current salary is $123,918 a year, according to the Arkansas Transparency website.