California Pension Fund Names Gaurav Patankar CIO

The former head of Bloomberg’s alternative investment strategy joins the Merced County Employees’ Retirement Association.

The Merced County Employees’ Retirement Association in California named Gaurav Patankar as its first CIO, effective July 17.

According to the agenda from the public employee retirement system pension fund’s July 27 meeting, Patankar will start out with an annual salary of $250,000 and a one-time, non-pensionable signing bonus of $10,000.

Patankar joins the Central California pension fund from Bloomberg, where he was head of its alternative investment strategy. While at Bloomberg, he was responsible for building and triangulating the company’s value proposition as a data-driven thought leader and unconflicted OCIO partner for asset owners.

According to Stanford University’s Stanford Research Initiative on Long-Term Investing, where Patankar is currently a board member, he has invested and allocated capital worldwide and across multiple asset classes during his more than 20-year investment career. 

Prior to Bloomberg, Patankar held senior positions at Lockheed Martin Pensions, Millennium Partners, The Boston Co. & 3i India. He is also the managing partner of Mission1 Investments LLC, an impact-focused, early-stage investor in fintech; is a non-executive vice chairman on the board of Shriram AMC Ltd.; and is a co-founder and non-executive board member of Niyogin Fintech Ltd. He is also a Special Investment Committee member at the UB Foundation, which supports the University at Buffalo.

Patankar earned his bachelor’s degree in electronics and telecommunications engineering at the University of Mumbai, an MBA. in finance and strategy at the University at Buffalo and a Ph.D. in social economics and governance at the University of Pune.

“It is rare to find a group of people where competence, collaboration and coherence can co-exist. It is an honor to join and help support the mission of MercedCERA,” Patankar said in an emailed statement. “I look forward to working with the MercedCERA board and team and using my investment experience to serve in the most effective way possible.”

The MercedCERA pension fund manages $1.1 billion in assets and has a target allocation of 22% domestic equities, 15% private equity, 11% each domestic fixed income and international equities, 10% hedge funds, 8% emerging markets equities, 8% real estate and 5% each in direct lending, opportunistic credit and real assets.

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