In vertebrates, centromeres lack defined sequences and are thought to be propagated by epigenetic mechanisms involving the incorporation of specialized nucleosomes containing the histone H3 variant centromere protein (CENP)-A. However, the precise mechanisms that target CENP-A to centromeres remain poorly understood. Here, we isolated a multi-subunit complex, which includes the established inner kinetochore components CENP-H and CENP-I, and nine other proteins, from both human and chicken cells. Our analysis of these proteins demonstrates that the CENP-H-I complex can be divided into three functional sub-complexes, each of which is required for faithful chromosome segregation. Interestingly, newly expressed CENP-A is not efficiently incorporated into centromeres in knockout mutants of a subclass of CENP-H-I complex proteins, indicating that the CENP-H-I complex may function, in part, as a marker directing CENP-A deposition to centromeres.