Calpers Said to Discuss CIO Job With Ex-Portfolio Manager Meng

(Bloomberg) -- The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has been in talks with Ben Meng, a former Calpers portfolio manager who is now an official with China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange, to be its next chief investment officer, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

“No candidate has accepted an offer,” Megan White, a spokeswoman for the largest U.S. pension, said in an email. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Wednesday that Meng was the leading candidate.

Meng, who couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, worked for Calpers until 2015 in several investment roles when he left to join the Chinese government agency in charge of its foreign reserves. He is still negotiating the terms of his pay and bonus, which is based on the $360 billion fund’s performance, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the contract talks are confidential.

“He’s a really smart guy,” JJ Jelincic, a former board member who worked with Meng in the Calpers investment office, said in a phone interview. “He’d be an excellent choice.”

The board voted in June to pay the next investment chief as much as $1.77 million, more than double the compensation of outgoing CIO Ted Eliopoulos, who plans to leave at the end of this year.

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