CalPERS to begin interviewing CIO candidates in August

  • Assets under management: $356.46 billion
  • Interim strategic target allocation to PE/VC: 8 percent
  • Actual allocation to PE/VC: $26.96 billion (7.56 percent)
  • Why this is important: Largest U.S. public-pension fund seeks new CIO amid PE changes

California Public Employees’ Retirement System in August will begin interviewing candidates to succeed Chief Investment Officer Ted Eliopoulos, with the aim of hiring a new CIO before year-end.

Eliopoulos said in May that he would step away from the $356.5 billion pension fund this year as family reasons required him to relocate to the East Coast.

The new CIO is expected to be installed before Eliopoulos leaves to ensure a smooth transition, CalPERS spokesman Wayne Davis said.

Recruiter Korn Ferry has been tapped to help search for the new CIO, and the retirement system is considering both internal and external candidates, in and outside the U.S.

CalPERS Chief Executive Marcie Frost will decide on the final candidate, in consultation with the investment committee, according to Davis.

Eliopoulos joined the system from the California State Treasurer’s Office in 2007 and was named interim CIO in 2013. He became permanent CIO the following year.

At its June meeting, the pension plan’s performance, compensation and talent management committee adopted a revised salary range for the CIO of $424,500 to $707,500, with the possibility of a bonus of up to 150 percent of base salary.

Previously, the CIO was eligible to make between $408,000 and $612,000 in base salary, with the possibility of a bonus of up to 75 percent of base salary, board agenda documents show.

In 2017, Eliopoulos made $867,178 in total pay and benefits, with a base salary of $552,843, public-pay database Transparent California reports.

The new CIO will step into an evolving situation at CalPERS as it relates to PE and venture capital.

The system earlier this year announced the formation of CalPERS Direct, a separate entity that will manage two evergreen funds for direct investments. One fund would pursue investments in late-stage technology, life sciences and healthcare companies. The other would make long-term investments in established companies.

The new platform would be overseen by a separate independent board. Day-to-day management would go to an outside firm or a captive investment team. CalPERS hopes to roll out the new platform next year.

Action Item: View the job posting for CalPERS CIO here: