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Florida administrator tapped to run state’s $253 billion investment portfolio

Lamar Taylor, chief operating and financial officer of the State Board of Administration, was named Tuesday as the interim head of the agency.
Lamar Taylor, chief operating and financial officer of the State Board of Administration, was named Tuesday as interim replacement for retiring Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer Ash Williams.
Lamar Taylor, chief operating and financial officer of the State Board of Administration, was named Tuesday as interim replacement for retiring Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer Ash Williams. [ LinkedIn ]
Published Sep. 21

TALLAHASSEE — Lamar Taylor, chief operating and financial officer of the State Board of Administration, was named Tuesday as interim replacement for retiring Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer Ash Williams.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and members of the State Board of Administration — Attorney General Ashley Moody and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis — supported Williams’ suggestion of Taylor to become interim head of the agency, which invests money in the Florida Retirement System, along with 25 other funds, and manages the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.

The agency oversees $252.8 billion in assets, including $199.6 billion in the Florida Retirement System, which provides pensions to state and many local-government workers. Williams also recommended that Taylor become the permanent replacement to ensure continuity.

“I think it’s critically important that our culture and team be preserved,” Williams said. DeSantis and the other board members did not take action on naming a permanent replacement.

Williams is stepping down from his $575,000-a-year position on Sept. 30. Williams ran the state agency from 1991 to 1996, when he left to become president of New York-based Schroders, a global investment firm. Williams was brought back to the agency in 2008 after serving nine years as a managing director of the New York-based hedge fund Fir Tree Partners.

Taylor started with the state Division of Bond Finance in 2002. He moved from deputy executive director at the State Board of Administration to his current position in January 2017.