CalPERS names Ben Meng CIO

  • Most recently deputy CIO at China’s forex agency
  • Worked seven years in CalPERS investment office
  • Succeeds Eliopoulos; start date not yet determined

California Public Employees’ Retirement System named Ben Meng chief investment officer, succeeding CIO Ted Eliopoulos.

Meng, 48, has been deputy CIO at China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange for three years.

He previously worked a seven-year stint at CalPERS. In that earlier tenure, he served as investment director of asset allocation, and was previously a portfolio manager in fixed income.

“We are pleased to have him back,” Investment Committee Chairman Henry Jones said at the pension’s Sept. 24 investment committee meeting.

“He has a deep understanding of our investment operations. We look forward to introducing him personally to our members, employers, stakeholders in the future when he returns to the United States.”

Eliopoulos, who is leaving CalPERS to be closer to family in New York, said Meng was an “incredible selection.”

“I’m just thrilled,” Eliopoulos said. “It wasn’t my prepared remarks. Having heard that announcement this morning, I’m really happy for CalPERS.”

Meng, a U.S. citizen born in China, will report to CalPERS Chief Executive Marcie Frost.

He will lead an office with nearly 400 employees and will be responsible for a $360 billion portfolio of public and private investments. A start date has yet to be determined, CalPERS said in a statement.

Before joining CalPERS in 2008, Meng was a senior portfolio manager at Barclays Global Investors, a risk officer at Lehman Brothers, and a fixed-income trader at Morgan Stanley, CalPERS said.

Recruitment firm Korn Ferry assisted with CalPERS’s search for the position.

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