Russell Read quit as chief investment officer at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, ending a two-year stint overseeing the largest U.S. public pension fund’s $244 billion holdings, Bloomberg News reports.
Chief Operating Investment Officer Anne Stausboll will replace him until a permanent successor is found, spokeswoman Pat Macht said in an interview today. Read, 44, will stay until June 30. He joined the fund, known as Calpers, in 2006.
Read, formerly the deputy chief investment officer for Deutsche Asset Management, led the retirement system as it sought to benefit from the booms in commodities, private equity and real estate, and was a critic of the fees reaped by hedge fund managers. He also oversaw expanding investments into emerging markets such as China and Russia.
“It came as a little bit of a surprise, especially the timing,” said Calpers board president Rob Feckner in an interview. “But I don’t think it’s any surprise that he was going to leave at some point.”
The pension fund in a statement said Read was departing to “pursue his long-standing interest” in investing in companies that are developing environmentally friendly technologies.