Former Aramco Alts Head Joins CalPERS as Private Markets DCIO

Daniel Booth will oversee the $442.6 billion pension fund’s private equity, real assets and private debt.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has named Daniel Booth to the newly created position of deputy CIO for private markets. Booth, who will report to CalPERS CIO Nicole Musicco, will be responsible for all private market investment strategies, including asset allocation.

CalPERS announced that Booth will work closely with Musicco and the CalPERS investment office’s managing investment directors to lead investment decisionmaking for the $442.6 billion pension giant’s private equity, real assets and private debt asset classes.

Booth, who will join CalPERS in April, is currently a senior adviser for the UK Infrastructure Bank in Leeds, U.K., where he helps set up the investment and equity investment platforms. According to CalPERS, he helped form investment strategies to support the U.K. government’s net-zero goals, with a focus on higher risk transactions in infrastructure sectors, such as clean energy projects.

Before joining the UK Infrastructure Bank, Booth was CIO for the Border to Coast Pensions Partnership, a centralized asset manager for 11 UK local government pension plans, according to CalPERS. Prior to the BCPP, Booth was CIO of portfolio management and head of alternatives for Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia. He has also been head of alternative asset research for Prime Capital and alternative investments director for FERI, both in Frankfurt, Germany.

“I’m thrilled to have Daniel further CalPERS’ expansion into the private markets,” Musicco said in a release. “He’s a visionary investor who’s consistently been able to identify key market trends and has delivered top-tier results. His strategic thinking and thought leadership, which have contributed to his global success, is what we need to ensure the long-term sustainability of our fund.”

CalPERS’ private markets investments, which provide inflation protection, diversification and excess returns, have been a big driver of its portfolio’s performance and has helped offset losses from other assets.

While CalPERS’ investment portfolio overall lost 6.1% for fiscal year 2021-22 that ended June 30, 2022, its private market investments were its top-performing assets, as private equity and real assets returned 21.3% and 24.1%, respectively.

“Despite a challenging year, we were able to outperform our total fund benchmark by 90 basis points and provide strong returns from our private market asset classes,” Musicco said in a release when the results were reported in July 2022. 

Private equity is CalPERS’ top-performing asset class, with five- and 10-year returns of 13% and 12.8%, respectively, and the pension fund’s board increased the allocation to private equity to 13% from 8%, starting with the 2022-23 fiscal year, which brings the total allocation to private assets up to one-third of the portfolio.

“I am honored with the opportunity to work at CalPERS and I look forward to working closely with Nicole and the investment team to help build retirement security for California’s public employees,” Booth said in a release. “Efficient implementation of private assets will be key to achieving the returns needed to grow the fund and improve our long-term funding position.”

Related Stories:

CalPERS Equity Portfolio Edges Out S&P 500 Returns in Q4 2022

CalPERS Commits $1 Billion to Boost Diversity Among Alts Managers

CalPERS Consolidates Private Equity with Growth and Innovation Program



Tags: , , , , , , , , ,