CalPERS CIO Nicole Musicco to step down at end of September | ET REALITY

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Nicole Musicco to step down as chief investment officer of $463.6 billion California Public Employees Retirement System on September 29.

Musicco is leaving the country’s largest public pension fund less than two years after taking the job “to address the immediate needs of the family in his native home of Toronto, Canada,” according to a CalPERS news release.

Deputy CIO Give Welcome will serve as interim CIO.

“Leading the CalPERS investment office has been an honor and I am proud of the work my team has done to deliver on the retirement promises made to the 2 million Californians who have spent their lives in public service,” Musicco said in the release. “However, right now I need to prioritize those who need me most: my family and my children.”

“While it will be difficult to see her go, we know it is the right decision to put her family first and we applaud the strength it took to do so,” CalPERS CEO Marcie Frost said in the statement.

CalPERS Board of Directors Chair Theresa Taylor stated in the statement: “While Nicole’s leadership will be greatly missed, we support her decision and will keep her and her family in our thoughts.”

CalPERS also noted in the statement that with guidance from the board and Frost, CalPERS officials “will soon launch a global search to identify candidates for the position.”

A CalPERS spokesperson said the fund will hold a board meeting on Sept. 18 at which Musicco, Frost and Taylor will provide comments.

Musicco took over as CIO in March 2022, replacing Yu “Ben” Meng, who resigned in August 2020 following questions about some of his personal actions.

In September 2022, Musicco told the fund’s investment committee that it regretted the fund’s recent poor performance and said CalPERS had been under-allocated to public and private equity growth assets, especially private equity that was “really put on hold” between 2009 and 2018.

He noted that the inconsistent pace of engagement with private capital cost the pension fund between 2009 and 2018 between $11 billion and $18 billion in lost opportunities for investment returns.

A CalPERS spokesperson said the fund will have no further comment at this time.

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