SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) will not conduct an external search for a new senior principal investment officer to help manage the fund’s $20 billion private equity portfolio. Richard Hayes vacated the position, the second in command leadership role at the mammoth pension fund, when he became CalPERS’ senior investment officer on July 1.
Instead of looking outside, CalPERS may promote an investment professional from within its ranks to take over the senior principal investment officer role, but the pension fund is not currently looking to fill the position at all, Hayes said.
Hayes assumed the top spot after Barry Gonder, CalPERS’ former top man, decided to leave the pension fund for Wellesley, Mass.-based Grove Street Advisors, which manages $2.7 billion of CalPERS’ venture capital commitments. Gonder became Grove Street’s fifth general partner.
As for other vacancies at CalPERS, the pension fund’s private equity group is actively looking to fill two junior investment positions, Hayes said. “With the apprentice program, they start as students from business school and then join as entry-level [investment professionals], and then we promote from within,” Hayes said. “The apprentice model works here and gets people the chance to get acquainted with CalPERS.” Hayes has hired two junior investment officers annually since he joined the team in May 1998.
Currently, CalPERS’ private equity group includes six professionals on the investment team and five additional staffers in operations. Based in Sacramento, CalPERS manages $158 billion for 1.2 million California state employees.
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