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CalPERS CIO to leave pension at the end of the year

Monday, May 14, 2018
Opalesque Industry Update - The California Public Employees' Retirement System today announced that Ted Eliopoulos, CalPERS' chief investment officer (CIO), is leaving the pension fund in order to relocate to the East Coast to be closer to family. A search for his permanent replacement will begin immediately.

Eliopoulos will remain chief investment officer until a new CIO is named and assist in the transition through the end of 2018.

"With two daughters in college, and one with health considerations that require my wife and me to be within reasonable distance, we have decided to relocate to New York City where they both will be in school," said Eliopoulos. "Due to this fact, I will be stepping away from CalPERS by the beginning of 2019."

"It's been extremely rewarding to have helped steward an investment institution that serves so many hardworking and deserving California families. I am confident the transition to a new CIO will be seamless as I leave the office in the hands of some of the most skilled investment professionals in the industry," Eliopoulos said.

"Under Ted's leadership, the investment office has greatly reduced the cost and complexity of the investment portfolio and increased transparency around fees," said Marcie Frost, CalPERS CEO. "Because every dollar we save goes back into the fund, our members will directly benefit from those cost savings for years to come. Ted has always been guided by our fiduciary obligation to our members and the fund."

As CIO, Eliopoulos managed an investment portfolio of more than $350 billion, comprising both public and private assets, and a team of nearly 400 investment professionals. During his tenure, Eliopoulos implemented the Vision 2020 Strategic Plan, which sought to reduce the complexity of the portfolio, reduce fees, and better manage risk.

As CIO and as head of the CalPERS Real Assets program before that, Eliopoulos focused on reducing external managers, ensuring only strategic partnerships were retained. This included reducing the number of external real estate managers from 90 to 15 and external managers from approximately 400 in 2007 to about 140 today. As a result, today more than 70 percent of CalPERS' assets are managed internally. Eliopoulos also ended the hedge fund program at CalPERS in 2014, saving significant fees for the pension fund.

Under Eliopoulos' leadership, CalPERS established its first Emerging Manager Plan in 2012 and the Investment Office's first Diversity & Inclusion Committee in 2016. He also established CalPERS' first Governance and Sustainability Plan and the Opportunistic Credit Program in 2016.

Eliopoulos joined CalPERS in 2007 as senior investment officer for the Real Estate division and the Real Assets unit. Following the financial crisis, he led the effort to restructure the asset class, refocusing on core investments in real estate and infrastructure that generated stable returns. He continued this work across all asset classes when he was appointed interim CIO in June 2013 and later as the permanent CIO in September 2014.

"Ted's commitment to the long-term health of the Fund has been unwavering," said Henry Jones, chair of the Investment Committee. "It has been an honor to work with him, and we are incredibly grateful for his service to California over the past decade."

"Ted leaves the Investment Office in a better place," said Priya Mathur, CalPERS board president. "He has managed risk, negotiated lower fees with external managers, and set the Fund up for success moving forward. On behalf of all of us on the Board, we wish him much success and happiness as he starts the next chapter in his life."

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