The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has appointed an internal global equity director to take over as its deputy chief investment officer in total portfolio strategy.
On Monday, Dan Bienvenue started overseeing total fund investment and operational strategy at the fund, one of two newly created DCIO positions at CalPERS, as it makes aggressive changes to its equity program. The 16-year veteran will report directly to CIO Yu Ben Meng.
The new leadership configuration was approved by the CalPERS board in September, when it considered three new deputy chief positions that were later reduced to two. Another DCIO position overseeing growth assets is yet to be filled, though it has attracted more than 200 applicants on LinkedIn since it was posted more than three weeks ago.
Prior to his appointment, Bienvenue was both the interim chief operating investment officer and managing investment director of global equity. According to his LinkedIn profile, Bienvenue was responsible for a roughly $170 billion global equity portfolio—a little less than half the total $397 billion fund—and oversaw a 60-person staff in the investment team.
As DCIO, Bienvenue will take over the investment team’s business management needs, as well as strategic planning, financial reporting, expense management, and talent management.
In the past, he has also held other leadership roles in the CalPERS investment team, including portfolio manager and senior portfolio manager in internal equity. Before CalPERS, Bienvenue was a principal and senior portfolio manager with Barclays Global Investors and led an international equity portfolio management team.
The appointment comes as CalPERS makes other aggressive changes to its organization, including slashing its allocation to outside managers to $5.5 billion, down from $33.6 billion, last year. Top money managers, such as J.P. Morgan, Fidelity, and Allianz, lost business with the fund.
The fund has also recently come under fire from anti-China advocates for its international investments. In February, a US lawmaker called for the removal of Meng, a US citizen born in China, who has worked for Beijing’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange.