CalPERS investment chief's sudden departure

Nicole Musicco
California Public Employees Retirement System - Chief Investment Officer
Date: 18 September 2023
Position: Chief Investment Officer
By Elizabeth Fry

Nicole Musicco is stepping down as chief investment officer of the California Public Employees Retirement System to spend time with her family in Canada.

Musicco leaves the $US500 billion US public pension plan less than two years after taking the job.

Deputy CIO Dan Bienvenue will serve as interim CIO while the pension scheme searches for a replacement.

"Leading the CalPERS investment office has been an honour, and I am proud of the work my team has done to fulfil the retirement promises made to the 2 million

Californians who have spent their lives in public service," Musicco said in a release.

"However, at this time, I need to prioritise those who need me the most my family and children."

The pension fund said Musicco "has been shuttling between Toronto and Sacramento in recent weeks to help members of her large, multigenerational


"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 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."

During her time at CalPERS, Musicco increased the fund's allocation to private market investing, including new co-investing opportunities.

She also spearheaded a $1 billion commitment in 2022 to identifying and supporting emerging entrepreneurs in private markets.

For his part, Bienvenue joined CalPERS in 2004 and has held several leadership roles.

Before joining CalPERS, he was a principal and senior portfolio manager at Barclays Global Investors, leading an international equity portfolio management team responsible for US $55 billion.

Interestingly, Bienvenue first assumed the role of interim CIO after Ben Meng resigned from the job before Musicco's appointment

Musicco joined America's biggest pension scheme from RedBird Capital where she led the firm's Canadian investment business.

Before that, she led the private markets investment program at the C$70 billion Investment Management Corporation of Ontario.

She has also held leadership roles at the C$200 billion Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, where she ran the private equity and public equity investment teams.