CalPERS Fires Bulk of Equity Managers

The $380 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest in the U.S., has fired most of its external equity managers, cutting their allocation from $33.6 billion to $5.5 billion. This according to a recent article in Chief Investment Officer.

The news was reported in an October memo to CalPERS board members that noted only three of the 17 external equity managers survived the cuts and that the move is in response to the fund’s long-term underperformance. Reportedly, CalPERS CIO Ben Meng is placing a “renewed focus on performance and our ability to achieve our 7% assumed rate.” Meng, who assumed his role as CIO last January, has “repeatedly expressed concerns” about the fund’s ability to reach its performance targets as well as the fact the it is only about 70% funded.

The article reports that over the last decade, “CalPERS has moved to managing most of its $187 billion in equities in-house, the majority of the strategies index-based.” In the memo, CalPERS CEO Marcie Frost noted that the pension plan will see “very significant savings” in fees from the manager terminations—to the tune of $100 million.