CalPERS CIO Dreams of Going Direct

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), surpassing US$ 300 billion in assets, is contemplating going direct. Essentially, CalPERS is seeing its peers such as Canadian pensions and sovereign funds saving money and directly investing into companies without the fingerprints of private equity handlers. CalPERS CIO Theodore Eliopoulos at a board retreat in Monterey, California, revealed it could take as long as 20 years before CalPERS has its own direct investment program. Eliopoulos tasked staff to generate a report for the board about a direct investment program. CalPERS projected that available dry powder for investments by private equity funds reached a record US$ 868 billion in 2016. This is not even counting sovereign funds, Canadian pensions and family offices.

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