CalPERS names CIO

Ted Eliopoulos has been selected as CalPERS Chief Investment Officer

The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) has appointed acting CIO Ted Eliopoulos to the role on a permanent basis. The pension ends a seven-month search with the appointment.

Eliopoulos takes over the position from the late Joe Dear, and was previously the senior investment officer (SIO) for real assets at CalPERS.

As CIO, Eliopoulos will be responsible for managing an investment portfolio of approximately $300 billion and an office with nearly 400 professional staff.

The Eliopoulos era has already seen a more conservative shift in terms of portfolio management. Earlier this summer, PEI covered a move by the pension to de-risk large parts of its portfolio and trim down its allocations to private equity. Going forward, investment officials plan to make larger commitments to fewer GPs.

That idea also seems to be driving other allocation choices including the system’s recent move to divest its entire $4 billion hedge fund portfolio. The pension said that the hedge fund portion of the portfolio was over allocated across 24 funds, and not moving the needle in terms of performance.

Yesterday the pension also announced that it was refocusing its investment priorities in line with the recent allocation changes. CalPERS has outlined plans to engage in policy discussions around derivatives, housing finance, and credit rating agencies as part of its renewed focus on risk, governance, and transparency in the financial markets.

“CalPERS advocacy work needs to be focused and relevant to our current market environment,” said Ted Eliopoulos, CalPERS CIO, said in a statement.