US - The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) has appointed Réal Desrochers as senior investment officer for its private equity programme.
Desrochers, who previously oversaw the private equity programme at the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) will be responsible for managing a globally diversified portfolio of private equity investments worth $49bn, $33bn of which is invested in the funds of partners of the Alternative Investment Management (AIM) programme.
He will also oversee the $230bn fund's private equity investment team and external advisors to ensure that the pension fund's investment strategies, policies and new initiatives are executed effectively. He reports to CalPERS chief investment officer Joseph Dear.
"I'm extremely confident in Réal Desrochers and his skills leading our team of investment professionals," said Dear. "He did a fine job in overseeing the private equity programme of our sister fund, the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS), generating annual returns of more than 17% in the decade that he was there.
"He also worked for Caisse de Depot of Quebec, Canada's largest pension plan for more than 11 years before joining CalSTRS. Our AIM Program is in good hands and will suffer no interruption in its investment plan or Board policy."
Desrochers left CalSTRS in 2009. He has advised Blackstone Capital, J.H. Whitney, Texas Pacific Group, Permira, and China Renaissance Industries. Prior to joining CalPERS, he was the chief investment officer of Saudi Arabian Investment Company.
Meanwhile, CalPERS has backed a new guide by the Investor Steering Committee of the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA), the global hedge fund association, to promote better alignment of interests between institutional investors and hedge fund managers.
"Public pension funds and other institutional investors account for most of the capital within the hedge fund industry," said Dear. "This guide by AIMA's Investor Steering Committee contains recommendations that will enhance our partnerships with fund managers. It's a good benchmark for this maturing industry."
The guide has also been backed by the £30bn ($49bn) Universities Superannuation Scheme. (Global Pensions: 31 May 2011)
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