Investment chief of top US pension fund CalPERS dies of cancer

Joe Dear, diagnosed with prostate cancer last year, had been on leave from CalPERS, the biggest U.S. pension fund, since last month.

“It is with tremendous sadness that CalPERS announces the passing of Joseph A. Dear, our Chief Investment Officer,” his office said in a statement.

Dear joined CalPERS, California’s $282 billion pension fund for public employees, as CIO in March 2009 after the value of its assets had dropped to about $165 billion.

He had previously served as executive director of the Washington State Investment Board.

CalPERS said in June that Dear had been diagnosed with cancer and had begun treatment. He returned to work full-time in December before going on leave in January to resume treatment.

Ted Eliopoulos, senior investment officer for real assets at CalPERS, had served as acting CIO during Dear’s absence.

Barani Krishnan is a reporter for Reuters News in Bangalore