The Investment Office invests and manages CalPERS assets. The portfolio invests in stocks, bonds, real estate, private equity, inflation-linked assets, and other public and private investment vehicles. Our goal is to generate total returns on a long-term basis while managing risk.
- Individual investment decisions are made by an internal trading staff as well as external equity managers on behalf of the CalPERS Board of Administration.
- The Board adopted a set of beliefs (PDF) that articulate the Pension Fund's views on the public pension design, funding, and administration.
- The Board has investment authority and sole fiduciary responsibility for the management of CalPERS assets.
- Trading decisions are governed by policies established by the Investment Committee in accordance with applicable law.
- With the Board's guidance, the Investment Committee and Investment Office carry out the daily activities of the Investment Program.
Asset Allocation is responsible for analyzing and recommending a strategic asset allocation to the Board for the Public Employees’ Retirement Fund and affiliate funds. This involves input and coordination from the CalPERS Actuarial Office and Finance Office. Asset Allocation manages the actual asset class exposures within ranges specified by the Board during the strategic asset allocation process. Additionally, this program coordinates research and decision making on topics involving multiple Asset Classes or the entire portfolio.
Risk Management is responsible for maintaining and utilizing a Risk Management System (RMS) that incorporates and integrates all asset class exposures contained in the investment portfolio. This platform is used to generate reporting on the diversification implications of both historic and forecast price volatility of the investment portfolio. This program also monitors and reports on additional risk elements such as liquidity and counterparty solvency.
This program is responsible for managing CalPERS investments in securities traded on any public equity market, including in-house management of domestic and international equities, the Global Equity Hedge Fund Program, external equity managers, corporate governance, affiliate funds, and CalPERS supplemental income plans. The Global Equity Program's goal is to capture the equity risk premium through ownership, with some cash yield. CalPERS Investment Office staff select advisers for the program and these advisers actively seek Emerging & Transition Managers investment opportunities.
Income manages dollar and non-dollar denominated fixed income, limited duration fixed income, and derivative securities for the Public Employees' Retirement Fund, CalPERS' affiliate funds, and supplemental income plans. They also manage CalPERS' inflation-linked and liquidity assets. Their goal is diversification and cash yield.
The Opportunistic Strategies Program enables the Total Fund to access investment opportunities outside of the existing asset classes.
The Private Equity Program is responsible for investing in domestic and international private market transactions. The program focuses on long-term investing with a goal of enhancing equity returns through a value-added approach to investment management. Manager selection and alignment of interests between general partners and limited partners are critical to the success of the Private Equity Program.
The Real Assets Program comprises of three distinct portfolios: Real Estate, Infrastructure, and Forestland. These investments are acquired and managed through separate accounts, joint ventures, and commingled funds between CalPERS and investment management firms. The Real Assets Program plays a strategic role within the Total Fund by providing benefits of stable and predictable cash yield, diversification of equity risk, and inflation protection.
Investment Support Divisions
Global Governance seeks to ensure CalPERS acts as a principled and effective investor advocating for alignment of interests across the portfolio to promote the long-term, risk-adjusted returns to pay pensions. Program components include principles and proxy voting; institutional relations; financial market reform; corporate engagement; and integration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into investment decisions.
Investment Compliance & Operational Risk (ICOR) serves Investment Office staff by helping to oversee compliance with key policies, laws, and regulations that impact the Investment Office. ICOR also trains staff to be risk aware while managing an end-to end process for monitoring compliance with policies.
Investment Core Services (ICS) works with Investment Office staff and various business partners throughout CalPERS to develop and implement Investment Office strategic planning efforts. In addition, ICS provides coordination and oversight of the travel request and reimbursement process for Investment Office staff and other critical business support services.
Investment Risk & Performance is responsible for creating transparency on CalPERS' portfolios and investment processes in order to ensure that investment risks are intended, understood, and compensated. The team's mandate includes portfolio analytics at both the trust- and asset class-levels, independent and unbiased reporting of investment performance and risk, and ongoing monitoring of key investment risk areas.
The Investment Servicing Division plays a key support role within the CalPERS Investment Office. They are responsible for trade support and investment operations, management and oversight of investment-related technology, and internal financial services. The division comprises three teams: Investment Operations and Data Integrity, the Technology Management Unit, and Investment Finance Services.
Investment Manager Engagement Programs (formerly known as Targeted Investment Programs) provides total fund coordination across all asset classes. Specific areas of focus are emerging and transition managers, responsible contracting, California investment initiatives, and diversity and inclusion efforts. Additionally, Investment Manager Engagement Programs is responsible for integrating best practice external manager monitoring and evaluation processes to ensure a consistent and transparent system that results in reduced risk, cost, and complexity for the fund.