CalPERS CIO Ted Eliopoulos to step down at year-end

  • Elipoulos was named permanent CIO in 2014
  • He plans to relocate to New York next year
  • Board weighing alternative models for investing in PE

California Public Employees’ Retirement System Chief Investment Officer Ted Eliopoulos will step down from the $356 billion system at year’s end.

In a statement, Eliopoulos said he wanted to relocate to New York to be closer to his family. He plans to assist CalPERS as it transitions to a new CIO.

“With two daughters in college, and one with health considerations that require my wife and me to be within reasonable distance, we have decided to relocate to New York City where they both will be in school,” Eliopoulos said.

Eliopoulos has spent more than a decade at CalPERS, having joined the retirement system from the California State Treasurer’s Office in 2007.

He was a senior investment officer on CalPERS’s real-assets team until 2013, when he was named interim CIO, succeeding Joe Dear. The board named him CIO on a permanent basis in 2014.

CalPERS made several major changes during his tenure at the retirement system, most notably culling more than 250 external managers from its roster. In 2014, CalPERS eliminated its $4 billion hedge-fund platform after deeming the strategies too complicated and expensive.

Elipoulos undertook several initiatives on the PE program as well. In a move toward greater transparency, it began publishing an annual report that outlines management fees and carried interest charged by each of its fund managers.

Over the past year CalPERS has explored alternative models for its private equity program, and six firms have submitted bids to take over its management.

It’s unclear whether CalPERS will follow through with outsourcing the program. In February, multiple sources told Buyouts that the CalPERS board had serious concerns about how this platform would be structured and governed.

A discussion on alternative business models for the PE platform was on the May 14 agenda.

Board President Priya Mathur, Investment Committee Chairman Henry Jones and CEO Marcie Frost praised and thanked Eliopoulos in a series of statements.

“#FamilyFirst is a great reason and a priority more of us should adhere,” Board Member Richard Costigan wrote in a series of tweets. “We will celebrate Ted at a later date but he has done tremendous work for @CalPERS and our members — he leaves a high bar for the person who comes after him as CIO.”