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Réal Desrochers Leaving Private Equity Program

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) said today that Réal Desrochers, managing investment director of the CalPERS Private Equity program, is leaving the pension fund to take a position with a large overseas bank.

Investment Director Sarah Corr to take over as interim head

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) said today that Réal Desrochers, managing investment director of the CalPERS Private Equity program, is leaving the pension fund to take a position with a large overseas bank.

Desrochers’ last day at CalPERS is Friday, April 7. Sarah Corr, an investment director in Private Equity, will become the interim head of the program.

Desrochers joined CalPERS in 2011 from the Saudi Arabian Investment Company, where he was chief investment officer. Prior to that, he spent 11 years managing the private equity portfolio at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS).

"Réal’s leadership, professionalism, and integrity are unmatched," said Henry Jones, chair of the CalPERS Investment Committee. "Private equity is integral to our long-term success, and Réal has been invaluable in helping ensure the long-term future of the CalPERS Fund. We wish him great success as he embarks on this next chapter in his outstanding career."

Private Equity has been CalPERS’ best-performing asset class over the past 10 and 20 years, returning 9.9 percent and 11.2 percent respectively, as of January 31, 2017. Over the past five years it has returned 11.8 percent. Since its inception in 1990 through June 30, 2016, the program has generated $33.4 billion in profits for CalPERS.

"Réal has worked for years to reduce costs and increase transparency throughout the industry, and he leaves a legacy at CalPERS of working tirelessly on behalf of our members," said Ted Eliopoulos, CalPERS chief investment officer. "Because of him, we’ve been able to streamline the number of managers we work with, while at the same time negotiating much more favorable terms with our business partners. Réal has also been instrumental in moving the private equity industry to become much more open by adopting a standardized approach to reporting fees."

Eliopoulos said the Investment Office will continue to review possible new business models for the CalPERS Private Equity program.

"As I outlined to the CalPERS Board last year, we’re going to continue reducing the number of general partners we do business with, and we’re going to explore how the program might eventually be adjusted to increase alignment and drive down costs even further," he said.

About 8.5 percent of the CalPERS fund, or about $26 billion, currently is invested in Private Equity.

Next Finance 7 April
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