Chief Investment Officer (CIO) Definition
A chief investment officer refers to a high-level executive who is charged with the responsibility of managing a company’s investment portfolios. The CIO major investment roles are to develop and oversee investment plans (both short-term and long-term). They also allocate assets, make investment recommendations, and supervise a team of qualified personnel.
A Little More on What is a Chief Investment Officer
Chief investment officer is answerable to the company’s board of trustees. CIOs may operate in an office setting like any other executive officer. However, due to the nature of their work, they may be required to travel more often. This is to enable them to meet with trustees, shareholders as well as third-party service providers regarding investment.
In some companies or organizations, the CIO is also the Chief Financial Officer. This is because CIO’s roles are usually combined with several finance sector roles within the organization. When this happens, then the chief financial officer title is retained. This is common in corporate businesses.
The combination of roles may see the CIO assigned various responsibilities. He or she has to decide the amount of money to be invested. Also, he or she is supposed to make changes to the company’s investment portfolio. This is for the purpose of bringing an appropriate balance between returns on investment as well as risks.
Institutions in Need of CIO
There are a number of businesses as well as organizations with investment portfolios that require CIO’s services. This means that CIO is an executive job position that is on demand. The following institutions have a high demand for CIO:
- Universities with endowments that require management.
- Non-profit organizations that require their endowments to be managed.
- Corporations with pension funds that require administration.
- Banks with investment portfolios that require management.
- Insurance companies with portfolios that need management.
Basically, most businesses and organizations including non-profit organizations do have assets’ portfolio that requires to be managed. Investment portfolios such as stocks or bonds require a professional CIO to oversee its management.
Most organizations usually have established guidelines set by the board of trustees which the CIO is required to follow. However, the CIO can also give his opinion and recommendations to the board of trustees. He or she may advise the board on the current investment strategies and any projected changes. The CIO is required to navigate the market challenges and ensure that the company’s fiscal security is upheld.
Duties and Responsibilities of a CIO
Below are some of the typical duties and responsibilities of a CIO:
- Asset Allocation: The CIO decide the amount of money every department should receive and how much should go to projects. The CIO usually make use of risk management models to determine this. He is also able to analyze budget limits and project the amount of money required to make projects succeed.
- Investment process creation: It is the responsibilities of the CIO to create an investment process that is efficient and effective. This is regardless of whether or not the process being implemented already exists or brand new. In other words, it is the duty of the CIO to identify appropriate investment strategy for the company.
- Making investment recommendations: Also, it is the duty of the CIO to research potential opportunities for investment. Based evaluation, he or she can then give recommendations on the way forward regarding the company’s investment strategies.
- Building teams: It is upon the CIO to choose personnel that is competent. A team that will support him or her to take on the investment responsibilities. This requires the CIO to intensively research and select candidates with potential.
- Securing third-party services: Another responsibility of a CIO is to look out for investment advice and services from other providers. He or she will talk to potential providers and evaluate their opinions and recommendations. This will enable the CIO to get insights of which investment is good for the organization.
CIO’s Key Characteristics
Besides education qualifications, a CIO possesses several key features. These skills are the ones that make him or her stand out as an efficient and competent CIO. They include:
- Excellent and visionary leader
- Highly motivated
- Good decision-maker
- Result oriented/driven
- Quick thinkers
- Good communicator
- Ability to handle complex projects
- Good planner