Jobs of the Week: California State Pensions Seek Investment Pros

Both the $251 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the $150 billion California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) have openings for investment professionals to focus on private equity.

CalPERS is seeking an “Investment Officer II” to work under the portfolio manager of private equity. The pension fund is also recruiting for a more senior role of “Investment Officer III” to work under the portfolio manager of real assets. Both positions are full time and offer monthly salaries of $5,831-$7,087 and $7,794-$9,023 respectively.

According to the job description, the Investment Officer II will be responsible for processing and evaluating new limited partnership, co-investment, customized investment account, and direct investment opportunities and using multiple sources of information about private equity firms to identify attractive investment opportunities.”

Minimum requirements and experience are cited as “equivalent to graduation from college preferably with major work in business administration, economics, finance, mathematics, or a closely related field and three years of increasingly responsible investment analysis experience for a public agency or private financial institution, insurance company, pension fund, endowment fund, investment firm, real estate development and investment firm having a major investment management program.”

The Investment Officer III must also demonstrate similar experience with added experience in “portfolio management and/or transactions in a private asset class (for example: infrastructure, private equity)”

According to the job description, the Investment Officer III will “act as the lead with specific limited delegation of authority for certain actions related to the management of an assigned portfolio; mentor junior staff in refining their understanding of market practices, enhancing risk/adjusted returns and provide support to senior management for strategic planning, investment transactions, portfolio management and other investment program initiatives.

In November, CalPERS announced the appointment of its new chief financial officer, Cheryl Eason who reports to Anne Stausboll, CalPERS’ chief executive officer.

Since inception in 1990 to June 30, 2012, the CalPERS private equity program has generated $21.3 billion in profits. As of November 30, 2012, the pension fund’s actual allocation to private equity is $32.1 billion or 13 percent of total assets, beneath its target allocation of 14 percent.

CalSTRS, meanwhile, is still looking to fill the gap left by Pascal Villiger, senior private equity portfolio manager, who left the pension fund last March to join Medley Partners, the investment group that manages the personal wealth of James Simons, as reported in Buyouts. The investment director will report to CalSTRS’s Chief Investment Officer Christopher Ailman.

According to the job description, the successful candidate will be responsible for the overall management of the specific investment program which includes, among others “alternative investments, non- traditional privately placed equity securities (domestic and international), limited partnerships which include, but are not limited to, venture capital, leverage buyouts and mezzanine, co-investments and credit enhancement projects.”

Minimum qualifications are specified as either “five years of experience in the California state service performing the duties at a level of responsibility comparable to a principal investment officer, retirement systems” or “seven years of extensive investment management experience for a major financial institution or firm, or governmental agency, including some experience in leading or coordinating professional staff; and review of an institutional investment portfolio.”

The market value of the CalSTRS private equity portfolio for the period ended September 30, 2012 reached $21.9 billion. Its actual allocation to private equity stood at 14.1 percent, above the pension fund’s target allocation of 12 percent.

Image credit: Photo of jobs dartboard courtesy of Shutterstock

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