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CalPERS names acting head of real assets

The largest US pension has chosen senior portfolio manager Tom McDonagh to replace Ted Eliopoulos as acting senior investment officer for real assets.

The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) has named Tom McDonagh as acting senior investment officer (SIO) for real assets, effective April 1. McDonagh will take over the position vacated by Ted Eliopoulos, who was named interim chief investment officer upon the passing of former chief investment officer Joe Dear in February.
 
“Tom is a valued part of our team, and has both the investment and management experience needed to lead the asset class,” said Eliopoulos in a statement. “I look forward to working with Tom and welcome him to the senior management team.” McDonagh is currently a senior portfolio manager in the global fixed income asset class.
 
As acting SIO of real assets, McDonagh will be responsible for implementation and management of investment strategy and policy for the $280 billion pension fund's $27.8 billion portfolio in real assets worldwide, which is comprised of $24.2 billion in real estate, $2.2 billion in forestland and $1.4 billion in infrastructure. 
 
McDonagh joined CalPERS in 2010 after serving as chief investment officer at both Freedom Mortgage and American Home Mortgage. Prior to that, McDonagh spent time at CalPERS as a portfolio manager for global fixed income, in addition to positions at Vanderbilt Capital Advisors and Lazard Freres Asset Management.
 
McDonagh’s appointment follows a February announcement that CalPERS had hired 19-year Franklin Templeton veteran Wylie Tollette as its chief operating investment officer, effective March 31. The position had been empty since July 2013, when Tollette’s predecessor, Janine Guillot, left the organization.
 
As chief operating investment officer, Tollette will be responsible for the business and operations functions of the investment office, leading on investment policy, compliance, operational risk and audit-related matters. He will be a member of CalPERS’ senior management team and executive staff.