Press Release: Wespath CEO and General Secretary, Barbara Boigegrain, Announces Retirement
For Immediate Release
Contact: Julie Capozzi
Managing Director, Communications
Glenview, IL—Wespath Benefits and Investments (Wespath) today announced that Ms. Barbara Boigegrain, Chief Executive Officer and General Secretary, has advised the Board of Directors of her intention to retire at the end of 2021. Ms. Boigegrain is Wespath’s longest-serving CEO and General Secretary, with more than 26 years leading the organization.
“One of the great privileges of my ministry has been to work alongside Barbara Boigegrain and to witness the passion, faithfulness, integrity and leadership excellence she has offered Wespath over her tenure,” said Bishop Robert Schnase, Chairperson, Wespath Board of Directors. “She is respected throughout The United Methodist Church for her uncompromising focus on the well-being of the more than 100,000 pastors, lay workers and their families served by Wespath. Her impact on the Church is immeasurable and immensely positive. Barbara’s cooperative and positive spirit assures a smooth transition as the Board begins its search for her successor.”
Pending the outcome of a successful executive search supported by a professional recruiting firm, Barbara will partner closely with the new CEO/General Secretary through the remainder of her tenure to ensure a smooth and successful transition of knowledge, relationships and responsibilities.
Ms. Boigegrain joined Wespath as CEO and General Secretary in August 1994. Under her leadership, Wespath has established and maintained a strong strategic approach to secure the long-term viability of pension plans, retirement savings programs, and health and welfare benefit plans for more than 100,000 clergy and lay employees of the worldwide United Methodist Church (UMC). Wespath has also established a forward-looking vision to add strong and growing institutional investment services in support of Methodist-affiliated institutional investors.
Early in her tenure, Ms. Boigegrain created a strong mission and vision for Wespath (then known as the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits), which has driven and supported the growth of the organization to what is now the largest reporting faith-based pension fund in the world, with assets of more than $27 billion. Wespath’s Positive Social Purpose lending program, now celebrating its 30th year, grew to more than $2 billion in investments, with a focus on affordable housing, community development and microfinance loans. In 2004 Ms. Boigegrain led the development of the Central Conference Pensions program, which today provides long-term retirement security for nearly 3,200 active and retired UMC clergy and surviving spouses in the central conferences (Africa, the Philippines, Europe) outside the United States. In 2008 she oversaw the launch of Wespath’s Health and Wellness initiatives, which include physical, mental and social resources to further support the overall well-being of the clergy and lay workers of the UMC. Ms. Boigegrain is a strong proponent of global economic and environmental sustainability, providing visionary leadership in bringing sustainable investment strategies, the incorporation of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, and impact investing approaches to Wespath.
“I’ve said many times that my role serving as General Secretary of Wespath has brought my journey as a United Methodist ‘preacher’s kid’ full circle,” said Ms. Boigegrain. “I’ve been privileged to act as a steward for the financial security and well-being of others who serve the Church, for which I feel truly blessed. It is time to pass that leadership on to another, who will carry on this mission and who will, no doubt, lead Wespath to greater heights in its service of the Church and our participants.”
About Wespath Benefits and Investments
Wespath Benefits and Investments (Wespath) is a not-for-profit agency that has been serving The United Methodist Church (UMC) for over a century. In accordance with its fiduciary duties, Wespath administers benefit plans and, together with its subsidiaries, including Wespath Institutional Investments, invests over $24 billion in assets on behalf of over 100,000 participants and over 100 United Methodist-affiliated institutions (as of June 30, 2020). Wespath invests in a sustainable manner that seeks to achieve positive financial, social and environmental impact while upholding the values of the UMC. Wespath maintains the largest reporting faith-based pension fund in the world. For additional information about Wespath Benefits and Investments, please follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.