Fund's Leading Figures Include Ph.D., Glazier, Labor Advocate

PHILIP ANGELIDES

Title: State Treasurer; Member of Calpers' Board of Administration

Role: Serves on the board's finance, investment and health benefits committees and its policy subcommittee. Took an early activist stance regarding Calpers' dismal returns on its $2 billion investment in emerging markets. Now Calpers invests in only 13 developing countries. Behind a recent effort to invest up to $500 million in "environmentally-friendly" stocks.

Background: Former real estate developer; was elected treasurer in 1998.

Reputation: Likes to think of himself as a watchdog; has cracked down on corporate fraud since becoming state treasurer in 1998; opposed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's bond bail-out package. Others see political posturing toward a possible run for governor.

MARK J.P. ANSON

Title: Chief Investment Officer

Role: The buck stops at Anson's desk. Has responsibility for all of Calpers assets and the strategic plan for the Calpers Investment Office, including asset allocation, business development, budget authority, technology and back-office operations. Called the accounting scandals on Wall Street "a new form of terrorism."

Background: Was money manager at OppenheimerFunds before joining Calpers in 1999. A lawyer with a Ph.D. and master's degree in finance, and the author of four books.

Reputation: Brings professionalism and circumspection to executive team. Unfailingly polite, Anson often discusses investment issues individually with board members.

FRED BUENROSTRO

Title: Chief Executive

Role: Oversees Calpers' employees, budget and operations, including investments, retirement benefits administration and actuarial and employer services.

Background: An attorney and state government veteran who served as chief deputy director of the California Department of Personnel Administration and as a deputy in the state controller's office. Became Calpers' seventh chief executive in December 2002, after 12 years on its board.

Reputation: Considered a competent behind-the-scenes administrator.

SEAN HARRIGAN

Title: President, Calpers Board of Administration

Role: The public face behind Calpers took aim at the $140 million pay package to Richard Grasso, the former chairman of the NYSE.

Background: Brings lengthy experience in labor union activities to the post he assumed in February 2003. Maintains his position as the international vice president and executive director of the Food and Commercial Workers International Union Region 8 States Council. Served as president of various supermarket unions since 1976.

Reputation: A labor advocate with a strong business background, Harrigan has teamed with Angelides to lead the current board, which is generally considered more collegial than in past years. Has angered a number of state employees for his focus on lower health care costs rather than on increasing services.

ROB FECKNER

Title: Vice President, Calpers Board of Administration

Role: Chair of the investment committee; serves on the benefits and program administration, health benefits and performance and compensation committees, as well as the R Street Project subcommittee overseeing construction of the new building.

Background: Has been employed as a glazing specialist by the Napa Valley Unified School District for the past 27 years. Also worked as a school bus driver and instructional assistant for special-needs students.

Reputation: Outspoken critic aligned with labor, Feckner sent letters to Safeway Inc., Albertson's Inc. and Kroger Co. last year calling for an end to its labor dispute with unionized grocery store workers.

R. THEODORE (TED) WHITE

Title: Director, Corporate Governance

Role: At the core of Calpers' crackdown on corporate governance. Responsible for the focus list program, which annually names underachieving companies, and for proxy voting involving the re-election of directors to boards.

Background: Was previously investment officer in the state treasurer's office and a deputy under former state Treasurer Matt Fong.

Reputation: Respected and influential nationally within the corporate governance community; some question depth of his investment knowledge, since he does not come from a finance background.

CHRISTIANNA WOOD

Title: Senior Investment Officer, Global Equity Unit

Role: Manages the pension fund's $86 billion global portfolio of publicly traded stocks. Oversees the corporate governance unit and sits in on meetings with targeted companies.

Background: Had 20 years of equity investment portfolio management under her belt before joining Calpers in 2002.

Reputation: Has become forceful public voice of the investment staff, often speaking with the media in lieu of Mark Anson. Has a matter-of-fact demeanor, and a no-nonsense approach to companies with less-than-stellar financial returns.

Karey Wutkowski and Kate Berry

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.