CalPERS Chief Investment Officer Nicole Musicco to Exit Sept.29

Chief Investment Officer Nicole Musicco  of The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) will step down on September 29.

Musicco, who joined CalPERS in the spring of 2022, said the decision to leave CalPERS will allow her to attend to the immediate needs of family in her native home of Toronto, Canada, according to a CalPERS press release. She has been “shuttling” between California and Toronto to take carte of the needs of her large multigenerational family.

CalPERS Deputy Chief Investment Officer Dan Bienvenue will serve as interim chief investment officer. Since he joined CalPERS in 2004, he has held several leadership roles with the Investment Office. Earlier in his career, he was a principal and senior portfolio manager with Barclays Global Investors, leading an international equity portfolio management team responsible for $55 billion across developed and emerging markets.

Musicco is only the second woman to have led the investment operations of the nation’s largest public pension fund, which has a current market value of $463 billion serving more than two million members. The fund has had a relatively high turnover of chief investment officers, and she is the seventh CIO at the fund within the past two decades.

During her tenure at CalPERS, Musicco led efforts to accelerate CalPERS programs aimed at private market investing, including new co-investing opportunities, and expanded its focus on high-value sustainable investing. She also championed a $1 billion commitment in 2022 to identifying and supporting the next generation of emerging and diverse investor entrepreneurs in private markets.

“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,” Musicco said. “However, at this time I need to prioritize those who need me the most, my family and children.”

Musicco joined CalPERS after a career spanning Canada and Asia. She lead Canadian investments at RedBird Capital Partners, managed the private markets investment program at the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario and worked 16 years at the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, leading both the private equity and public equity investment teams and opening the fund’s Asia Pacific office in Hong Kong to help build its presence in Asia.

“Nicole has brought to her work the vision and the values that we needed, the kind of approach that added real clarity and strength to our investing,” said CalPERS Chief Executive Officer Marcie Frost.“ 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.”

With guidance from the board and chief executive officer, CalPERS officials will soon launch a global search to identify candidates for the position.