Meet Marlo Oaks
He spent the first 17 years of his career in investment management and the last eight years in investment banking. Certainly one of the six candidates who had applied so far would have the right background and Marlo would not need to run. His experience was unique and he saw that. It started to weigh on him. He felt a sense of obligation but he also knew the combination of investment industry experience and his outgoing personality would be a great fit. He knew he could make a difference for his beloved home state of Utah.
Why did Marlo run for treasurer?
Marlo was never interested in running for political office. When the former treasurer resigned, Marlo and his wife assumed the current deputy treasurer would be running for the treasurer’s position. They called the deputy treasurer, Marlo’s former colleague at Intermountain Healthcare, and offered to help him with his campaign. “I’m not running; I am not political” was his reply. Then he suggested, “Marlo, you should run.” Marlo replied, “I’m not political either.” Now curious, Marlo decided to look at the treasurer’s role. The core functions are investment related: investment management and investment banking. He spent the first 17 years of his career in investment management and the last eight years in investment banking. Certainly one of the six candidates who had applied so far would have the right background and Marlo would not need to run. His experience was unique and he saw that. It started to weigh on him. He felt a sense of obligation but he also knew the combination of investment industry experience and his outgoing personality would be a great fit. He knew he could make a difference for his beloved home state of Utah. On the last day, he submitted his name for consideration.
What did he do to become treasurer?
Marlo and his wife, Elaine, hopped in the car. She drove, while he made appointments with members of the Republican State Central Committee (SCC) throughout Utah. They visited 25 of the 29 counties and met with different SCC members explaining what the treasurer’s role is and why his experience was the best fit for the job. Marlo was selected by the SCC as one of three candidates to interview with the governor and lieutenant governor. On June 29th, 2021, at 8:27 am, Governor Cox called Marlo with the news that he would be the 26th Treasurer of the State of Utah. He started in his official capacity as Utah’s Treasurer on July 6, 2021.
What makes Marlo qualified to be Utah’s Treasurer?
Treasurer Marlo Oaks spent 17 years overseeing multi-billion-dollar portfolios, first at Farmers Insurance Group in Los Angeles (15 years, $24 billion) and then at Intermountain Healthcare (2+ years, $7.5 billion) in Salt Lake City. He oversaw the Treasury function at Intermountain Healthcare, along with all the community foundation portfolios, including Primary Children’s Hospital Foundation. His experience includes managing foundation, endowment, healthcare/hospital system, insurance, defined benefit (pension), defined contribution (401K), taxable, and tax-exempt portfolios, including manager searches, due diligence, risk management, asset allocation, investment strategy, investment policies and guidelines, and reporting to senior executives and boards of investment committees.
Return on investment, for a given amount of risk, is what determines the success of an investment portfolio. The true mark of a well managed portfolio is how it responds in a market downturn. During the 2008 – 2009 Financial Crisis, Treasurer Oaks’ portfolios’ performance were among the best in the country. The pension plan outperformed the median corporate pension plan by 11.5% (funded status basis), representing $200 million in added portfolio value. The insurance pools were top performers among their peers, allowing the company to purchase AIG’s Direct Automobile Business, adding $4 billion to the portfolios, at the bottom of the market (March 2009). Treasurer Oaks began his career in Hong Kong on the derivatives desk at Standard Chartered Bank, a large British Bank with offices primarily in emerging markets.
As a volunteer, Treasurer Oaks served on the foundation investment committee at Utah Valley University for nine years. He also co-founded two non-profit organizations, the Stella H. Oaks Foundation, which provides hope to single mothers through scholarships, and FIRST Utah Robotics, a series of four programs that inspire children K-12 to pursue STEM careers. He is a member of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society of Salt Lake City, the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association of San Francisco, and holds both designations in addition to a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Brigham Young University and completed a Masters of Business Administration at UCLA Anderson School of Business. He and his wife are the parents of six children.
Why is Marlo running this year?
Because Marlo was an interim appointment, he is running this year to be elected by the people. He will run again in 2024 to get back onto the four year cycle with the rest of Utah’s Constitutional Executive Officers (Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and Auditor).