CalPERS mulls PERE models

The US public pension wants to add private investment capacity.

California Public Employees' Retirement System is considering different structures that would enable it to manage some private investments in-house. 

The California Public Employees' Retirement System may elect to move in-house some of its $30 billion in private equity exposure currently managed externally, the pension's chief investment officer, Ted Eliopoulos, said during a recent Bloomberg TV interview.  

Asked why CalPERS couldn't simply follow in the footsteps of sovereign wealth funds or Canadian pensions that have in-house investment teams and foreign offices, Eliopoulos noted that governance for US public pensions limits the ability to open foreign offices and compete with private sector pay.  

“We're looking at other ways we could achieve some of those [direct investing] objectives without going to a completely direct model,” he said, noting CalPERS was investigating whether it could invest in a special purpose vehicle to carry out an investment strategy.

The $302 billion US pension plan has a 10 percent target allocation to real estate that currently stands at 9.3 percent.

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