PA SERS searches for new head of real assets

The Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System is on the hunt for a head of real assets strategy since its longtime chief David Kalman retired earlier this year.

Kalman, who worked with the pension system for almost 24 years, retired in March, according to Pam Hile, spokeswoman for the pension. The system is working to fill the role of managing director of real assets, she said.

The real assets category at the pension system includes real estate, private energy, commodities and infrastructure.

Kalman oversaw the growth of the real estate program from less than $900 million in 1991 to almost $3 billion today, according to a pension board resolution thanking Kalman for his service.

Under Kalman’s leadership, the real estate program moved into an incentive-based model that became an industry standard, the resolution said. Kalman also helped establish other strategies like timber investments and the REIT program, according to the resolution.

Real assets returned 6.3 percent, net of fees, for the calendar year 2014, with a net return of negative 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the system’s year-end tally. The system’s real assets target as of 2014 was 17 percent, according to the 2014-2015 strategic plan.

PA SERS has about $27 billion in assets and serves nearly 230,000 members.

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