Nicole Musicco Steps Down as Chief Investment Officer of CalPERS
Nicole Musicco is stepping down as chief investment officer of the $463.6 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System on Sept. 29. Her departure comes less than two years after taking the job to attend to the immediate needs of her family in Toronto, Canada.
Dan Bienvenue, the deputy CIO, will serve as the interim CIO while the organization searches for a permanent replacement.
In a news release, Musicco stated, “Leading the CalPERS investment office has been an honor, and I am proud of the work my team has done to fulfill the retirement promises made to the 2 million Californians who have spent their lives in public service. However, at this time I need to prioritize those who need me the most, my family and children.”
Support from CalPERS
CalPERS CEO Marcie Frost applauded Musicco’s decision, stating, “While it will be hard to see her go, we know it’s the right decision to put her family first and we applaud the strength it took to do so.” CalPERS Board of Administration President Theresa Taylor also expressed support for Musicco’s decision.
Global Search for a New CIO
CalPERS officials, with guidance from the board and Frost, will soon launch a global search to identify candidates for the CIO position.
Upcoming Board Meeting
A board meeting is scheduled for Sept. 18, during which Musicco, Frost, and Taylor will make comments regarding the transition.
Musicco’s Tenure and Concerns
Musicco became CIO in March 2022, succeeding Yu “Ben” Meng. In September 2022, she expressed concerns about CalPERS’ recent underperformance. She lamented the fund’s underallocation to growth assets of public and private equity, particularly private equity, which was put on hold between 2009 and 2018. This inconsistent commitment to private equity is estimated to have cost the pension fund $11 billion to $18 billion in missed investment opportunities.
A spokesperson for CalPERS stated that the fund will not provide further comments at this time.