The California Public Employees’ Retirement System announced the departure of Nicole Musicco, the fund’s CIO, effective September 29. Musicco cited attending to the “immediate needs of family” in Toronto as her reason for leaving CalPERS.
Deputy CIO Dan Bienvenue, who has been with CalPERS since 2004 and has held several leadership roles with the office, will serve as interim CIO until a replacement is found.
“Leading the CalPERS investment office has been an honor, and I am proud of the work my team has done to fulfill the retirement promises made to the 2 million Californians who have spent their lives in public service,” Musicco said in a statement. “However, at this time I need to prioritize those who need me the most, my family and children.”
Musicco often traveled between Toronto and Sacramento for family reasons, according to the statement.
“Nicole has brought to her work the vision and the values that we needed, the kind of approach that added real clarity and strength to our investing,” CalPERS CEO Marcie Frost said in the statement. “While it will be hard to see her go, we know it’s the right decision to put her family first and we applaud the strength it took to do so.”
Musicco, the second woman to ever lead the investment division, took the role in March 2022, more than a year after the departure of Ben Meng, who was embroiled in controversy after he approved a $1 billion investment into a Blackstone private equity fund while personally holding $100,000 in Blackstone shares in 2021.
Prior to her role as CalPERS CIO, Musicco was a partner at private equity firm RedBird Capital Partners and spent more than 16 years at the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, where she held the titles of head of public equities and head of Asia Pacific.