An Enduring Commitment to Serve
On July 17, the Church Pension Group (CPG) was invited to ring the Opening Bell® at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in recognition of its 100th anniversary. It was an exciting morning. As I stood on the podium with my colleagues and looked out onto the floor of the NYSE, I felt an overwhelming sense of history and hope. For the past century, CPG has collected assessments and premiums from Episcopal institutions, invested them in a diversified portfolio of securities, and used the returns we earned to fund a range of financial products and programs for those who serve the Church. Our century-old ambition is to provide our clients with the highest possible level of financial security in retirement that is consistent with exemplary financial stewardship on our part and with the evolving needs of the Church. It is a huge responsibility that we have never taken lightly, and our access to the financial markets through the NYSE and other such organizations has been critical to our success.
CPG and The Church Pension Fund Board of Trustees (CPF Board) are committed to acting in the best interest of the clergy and lay employees who participate in our pension plans. In past issues of Perspective, we have featured conversations with various individuals who work at CPG, and in this issue we are sharing reflections from members of the CPF Board.
The CPF Board is responsible for guiding the overall direction of the organization. The board is a diverse group of dynamic professionals with deep and varied connections to the Church. They include active and retired clergy, clergy spouses, bishops, lay employees, lay volunteers, and subject-matter experts in investments, human resources, law, and benefits. They collaborate with each other and with CPG to understand the needs of the Church and to set the strategic direction for the organization.
Barbara Creed, Esq., Chair of the CPF Board, describes the role of the Board as follows:
Our role as Trustees and fiduciaries has several dimensions. First, by identifying the important issues and topics we wish CPG to focus on, we set direction and guide policy for CPG. Second, as a board we are responsible for approving major action items, such as changes in The Church Pension Fund Clergy Pension Plan, approval of the selection of CPG's outside auditor, and the like. Third, we are responsible for oversight of the operations of CPG, which we do by asking questions, receiving regular reports from executive management and generally ‘putting our noses in, but keeping our fingers out.’ Finally, we act as a source of advice and input for the management team and its CEO by bringing our various backgrounds, expertise, and knowledge of the Church to the board and CPG’s executive management.”
Barbara Creed, Esq., Chair of the CPF Board
The partnership between the CPF Board and CPG’s executive management is critical to our success. We are happy to share their reflections on various issues with you.
The Right Reverend William Lawrence had an audacious vision in mind when he founded CPF 100 years ago; namely, to provide retirement security to clergy who devote their lives to the Church. With the support of General Convention, the guidance of the CPF Board, the hard work of CPG employees, and the blessings of the financial markets, we have continued and extended that mission to include lay employees and additional products and securities. We currently serve more than 13,400 active and retired clergy and more than 19,400 active and retired lay employees with competitive products, compassionate service, and a financial discipline that distinguishes us from other financial services providers. We are a unique organization with a powerful purpose—supporting the clergy and lay employees of the Episcopal Church in their calling to spread the Gospel.
We are humbled by the trust you have placed in us over the past 100 years, and we will continue to work hard to continue to earn it in the century ahead.
Mary Kate Wold
CEO and President