Ruggles has nearly 25 years of experience in the public pension industry including leadership, management and legal experience. He will begin his post with SBCERA on July 6, 2011. He was selected from a field of well-qualified candidates after an extensive nationwide search conducted by the executive search firm, EFL Associates.
“We were looking for the best and the brightest and I am confident we were able to find the perfect fit,” said Ellen Weisser, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees. “Norm’s extensive management experience in public pension plans and outstanding leadership skills will ensure SBCERA remains a solid and secure pension plan that provides the highest levels of service to our members, plan sponsors and staff.”
Ruggles is currently the Vice President of Pension Trustee Advisors, Inc. (PTA) in Denver, CO. Prior to his employment with PTA, he served as Executive Director of the Denver Public Schools Retirement System. He was also Executive Director of the Seattle City Employees’ Retirement System, Assistant Executive Director and counsel for the Colorado Fire and Police Pension Association and worked for nearly a decade as an attorney with a large Denver law firm.
His areas of expertise include retirement benefits, retirement fund investments, pension law, actuarial principles, business operations, staff supervision and extensive work with retirement system Boards of Trustees, system members, consultants and elected officials.
“I had two thorough meetings with the SBCERA Board prior to being selected. I was very impressed by the quality and focus of the Board, and look forward to working with the Board and staff,” said Ruggles. “This is a great opportunity at a strong retirement system. I’m looking forward to learning all I can about SBCERA, and to applying my experience.”
Ruggles will serve as SBCERA’s first CEO. He replaces the former Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer, Timothy Barrett, who resigned on October 15, 2010. Following his resignation, the Board eliminated the positions of Executive Director/Chief Investment Officer and Chief Operating Officer and replaced them with two executive positions: CEO and Chief Investment Officer (CIO). Recruitment for the CIO position was placed on hold until a CEO was selected.
As CEO, Ruggles will report to the Board of Retirement and will be responsible for leadership and management of all SBCERA operations, in accordance with its bylaws, regulations, and policies set by the Board and applicable state and local laws.
Ruggles has served as a member of several pension industry organizations including the National Council on Teacher Retirement and the Coalition to Preserve Retirement Security. He earned a Juris Doctor at the University of Tulsa College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Technical Journalism at Colorado State University.
The San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association (SBCERA) provides its nearly 32,000 members and their beneficiaries with retirement and related benefits and services which they have earned, commensurate with their years of service and compensation. The Board of Retirement’s responsibilities and functions are governed by the applicable provisions of the California Government Code, along with the bylaws and regulations of SBCERA.