US - Russell Read has unexpectedly quit as CIO of CalPERS, the largest US pension fund.
A CalPERS spokesman told Global Pensions Read's departure had come as a 'big surprise'.
He continued: "Anne Stausboll, the chief operating investment officer, will serve as interim chief investment officer until a permanent replacement is named, which could take a few months."
Read is set to officially leave the position at the end of the fiscal year, 30 June 2008.
He joined CalPERS in June 2006.
John Chiang, California state controller, wished Read well for the future: "California and its retirees were lucky to have Russell Read investing on their behalf. Russell's talents are reflected in the more than 19% growth in CalPERS assets last year.
"His creativity helped formulate new strategies that recognize opportunities in areas such as clean technology, green building and emerging markets."
One of Read's major contributions was development of the inflation-linked asset class, adopted by the CalPERS board in December 2007, which included commodities, forestland, inflation-linked bonds and infrastructure.
CalPERS confirmed Read's salary had been a $555,360 base with $403,070 incentive award received for last fiscal year. Read was eligible for a 0-75% of base salary as an incentive.
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In this week's Pensions Buzz, we want to know if you believe there is ever a case for combining retirement savings products with other savings products, and if the PPF levy for sponsorless schemes is appropriate for DB consolidators.
The Insolvency Service has disqualified four directors of trustee firms from running companies for a total of 34 years following an investigation.