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CalPERS accelerates recruitment for private credit, PE, compliance

CalPERS, the $499.7bn California Public Employees’ Retirement System based in Sacramento, is looking to strengthen its private credit, private equity, and compliance and risk teams amid increased allocations and staffing challenges, according to a report by Pensions & Investments.  

According to Wilshire Advisors, the board’s general investment consultant, CalPERS is currently understaffed in private credit. In a report presented at an investment committee meeting on 12 June, Wilshire highlighted the need for additional resources to sustain the success of the private credit portfolio. Five key positions on its team remained unfilled as of the end of 2023. 

Last month, global head of private debt Jean Hsu announced her retirement effective July, after a nearly 25-year tenure. At the investment committee meeting, Marcie Frost, the US pension fund’s CEO, said that she hoped to name Hsu’s successor by the end of 2024, following a compensation review. 

 In private equity, CalPERS had 43 approved positions as of 1 May, with nine vacancies. The team had grown to 34 members from 35 last year. Wilshire’s report suggested that while current staffing levels suffice, more staff with expanded skills are needed to manage the increasingly complex portfolio. 

At CalPERS’s risk and audit committee meeting, also held on 12 June, chief compliance officer Kevin L Fein said that the compliance and risk team had 29 positions, with nine still vacant. Fein added that these roles require specific experience in running or building similar programs, which have posed recruitment challenges. 

Frost also noted that recruitment had been paused due to a recent division reorganisation and the upgrading of three management positions: “With the reorganisation complete, we can now proceed with recruitment.” 

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