CalPERS Taps Anton Orlich as Head of Growth, Innovation Investments

The pension fund also announced the departure of Greg Ruiz, private equity managing investment director.

The $430.6 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System has named Anton Orlich to the newly created role of managing investment director for growth and Innovation.

CalPERS said Orlich will be responsible for developing strategies and investment deals focused on higher growth and higher risk and reward opportunities, including growth equity and opportunities that don’t typically fit within traditional asset classes.

Orlich will join CalPERS investment office executive team, which is responsible for the overall investment performance and risk management of the portfolio. He will start in early November and report to CalPERS Chief Investment Officer Nicole Musicco.

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“Anton is a results-driven leader with a track record of service and success,” Musicco said in a statement. “As we look to find more innovative solutions to help meet our return requirements, we need someone with the right blend of expertise and real-world experience. We’re confident he’ll bring valuable insight to this role.”

Orlich joins CalPERS from Kaiser Permanente, where he was the head of alternative investments and is credited with growing its alternatives allocation to more than 50% from 15% within a portfolio worth more than $100 billion. Prior to Kaiser Permanente, Orlich was an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy in Afghanistan for two years, and before that was head of private equity at the Pivotal Group. Other resume highlights include an early stint at CalPERS as portfolio manager, and time at the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System and McKinsey & Company.

“It is a real privilege to be able to work on behalf of the hard-working people of the State of California to help them participate in the kind of returns that alternatives can offer,” Orlich said. “I am determined to execute on the CIO’s vision and to do for CalPERS what I have accomplished for Kaiser.”

Orlich earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Columbia University and a doctorate in political science from Yale University.

As Orlich joins the pension fund, CalPERS announced the departure of Greg Ruiz, managing investment director for private equity. The pension fund said he will be leaving in November for a position at investment management services company Jasper Ridge Partners.

“Greg has helped CalPERS position our private equity program for long-term success,” said Musicco. “He restructured the portfolio, consistently deployed capital in our co-investment program resurrected under our CEO Marcie Frost and helped build a highly talented team of investors dedicated to the CalPERS mission.”

Private equity is CalPERS’ highest-performing asset class, returning 21.3% for the fiscal year ending June 30. In July, the CalPERS board increased its strategic asset allocation for private equity to 13% from 8% starting with the 2022-23 fiscal year.


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