CalPERS on the hunt for new CFO

The $311bn pension fund’s former CFO left last month in pursuit of a similar position at her alma mater in British Columbia, Canada.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has launched recruiting efforts to find a new chief financial officer, PERE's sister publication, pfm, reported Tuesday.

The $311 billion pension fund, which managed $27.9 billion in real estate as of December 31, hired recruiting firm Heidrick & Struggles in New York to find a replacement for its former CFO Cheryl Eason, a job posting on its website indicated.

According to a CalPERS spokeswoman, Eason left the Sacramento-based pension fund on February 10 to return to her home country Canada to be vice president and CFO of her alma mater Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia.

The spokeswoman added that applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled.

The job posting indicates the CFO works directly under the chief executive officer, which is currently filled by Marcie Frost, who formerly served as executive director of the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, according to Frost’s profile on CalPERS’ website.

The CFO manages and controls CalPERS’ financial systems and risk programs, communicating with the pension’s board of administration and executive management team, and the posting notes candidates should have at least 10 years of experience in a large pension fund or financial institution.

Eason’s LinkedIn profile indicates she joined CalPERS in November 2012 as CFO, after serving as the vice president of financial and plan board services at the British Columbia Pension Corporation.

At the moment, CalPERS chief compliance officer Marlene Timberlake D’Adamo is serving as the interim CFO, according to the pension’s website. D’Adamo was initially hired by CalPERS as CCO in March 2016 to work directly under Eason to administer a compliance monitoring and oversight program relating to legislative and regulatory requirements and industry guidelines, according to a CalPERS press release at the time.