CalPERS picks new CIO

Russell Read will take the helm at the largest public pension fund in the US on June first.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has chosen Russell Read, the former Deputy Chief Investment Officer for New York-based Deutsche Asset Management and Scudder Investments, as their new CIO.

Russell Read: Managing funds, trees.

Read, 42, will replace the highly respected Mark Anson, who left in January to head London-based Hermes Pensions Management, the pensions management arm of the BT Pension Scheme.

Read will lead a 180-member investment staff and a diversified portfolio that includes equities, fixed income, alternative investments and real estate. CalPers manages about $11 billion in private equity.

While at Deutsche Asset Management Read was responsible for more than $250 billion in equity, fixed income and commodity-based investment products for institutional and retail investors. He also chaired Deutsche’s Americas Investment Committee.

Read is said to be a down-to-earth manager who is passionate about his activities outside of work, including his tree farm in Brooks, Maine.

Read is also the socioeconomic advisor for the Forest BioProducts Research Project at the University of Maine and head of the finance committee of the Fractional Development Center, a center that focuses on converting wood into energy and materials. He has also served as an instructor at Stanford University.

CalPERS has yet to choose a new Senior Investment Officer following the recent departure of Mike McCook from the position. A representative for CalPERS said the pension fund is still a ways off from selecting a new permanent SIO, but that Senior Portfolio Manager Al Fernandez will serve in the post in the interim.