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State budget administrator, former Arkansas lawmaker gets top exec position at APERS


His yearly salary put at $149,862


By Michael R. Wickline
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The trustees for the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System on Tuesday hired state budget administrator Duncan Baird as their next permanent executive director.

The retirement system is state government's second-largest, with more than $8 billion in investments and more than 75,000 working and retired members. The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System is the largest state retirement agency.

In a voice vote with no dissenters, trustees approved the motion by a colleague -- state Treasurer Dennis Milligan -- to employ Baird, starting March 31, at the executive director's minimum salary of $149,862 a year. Milligan is a Republican from Benton who defeated Baird for the Republican nomination for treasurer in 2014. Baird also is a former state representative.

Baird's salary is $123,918 a year as budget administrator at the Department of Finance and Administration, according to the Arkansas Transparency website.

The trustees selected Baird over system chief investment officer Carlos Borromeo and actuary Jody Carreiro, after trustees interviewed each of them in a closed executive session Tuesday.

"We felt like he had a good mix of investment experience and legislative experience and also outreach experience that we felt like would be a good opportunity for executive director," board chairman Candace Franks said of Baird. READ MORE.

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