Calpers Votes to Pay Next Investment Chief Up to $1.77 Million

(Bloomberg) -- The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the largest U.S. pension, voted Tuesday to offer the next chief investment officer as much as $1.77 million a year in compensation.

The maximum pay would be more than double the compensation for the current CIO, who’s retiring this year, an acknowledgment that Calpers must compete for talent with other public pensions as well as the private sector. Calpers manages about $354.5 billion in assets.

“This is probably pretty bad timing in terms of looking for a CIO in the marketplace because three of the top five public jobs are open right now,” Andrew Junkin, a consultant with Wilshire Associates, told the board, citing investment chief openings at the New York City and New York State retirement systems.

The proposed maximum pay package includes a base salary as high as $707,500 and an incentive of up to 150 percent of that, for a total of $1,768,750.

Outgoing Calpers CIO Ted Eliopoulos, who plans to leave at the end of the year, received total compensation of $858,085 in fiscal 2017.

Calpers board member Richard Gillihan, who represents the state Department of Human Resources, was the sole dissenting vote on the plan, which was approved by the which was approved by the performance, compensation and talent management committee.

“We’re making adjustments to salary ranges when we have zero evidence that we’re going to have any issues recruiting qualified individuals for this position,” Gillihan said.

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