Apr 11, 2017

Country's largest pension fund plans big changes

When Real Desrochers stepped down suddenly last week as head of private equity at the California Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), we noted that the nation's largest public pension was being kind of cagey about his eventual successor. It named an interim head (Desrochers deputy Sarah Corrs), but no official search process. Now we know why:

The news: Per board meeting documents published yesterday, CalPERS investment staff (read: CIO Ted Eliopoulos) is recommending that the systems's $26 billion private equity program be merged with the public equities program.

What's coming: More details will be disclosed during upcoming board meetings, but it sounds like CalPERS is thinking about adopting more of a Canadian pension strategy of big direct investments (as opposed to solely being a passive investor in PE funds). Perhaps, then, it's not surprising that a source tells Axios that Eliopoulos has been spending lots of time lately with BlackRock, the current home of Mark Wiseman ― who is largely credited with developing the direct investment strategy while leading the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Go deeper