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The 2014 Pension 40: Ted Eliopoulos

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Ted Eliopoulos
Chief Investment Officer
California Public Employees’ Retirement System
PNR

Ted Eliopoulos knows firsthand the value of a good pension. “Growing up in a teacher’s family, I saw the importance of these defined benefit plans,” says Eliopoulos, whose father taught physical education at a junior high school in San Francisco. “They are central to teachers and firefighters and police, and how they plan for their retirement security.” As chief investment officer of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the 50-year-old former real estate lawyer is in a position to have a big impact on that security. CalPERS has 1.68 million retirement plan members and pays nearly $13 billion in annual benefits, two thirds of which comes from investment earnings on its $300 billion in assets. Eliopoulos, who has a BA in comparative literature from Dartmouth College and a JD from the University of Virginia, joined CalPERS in January 2007 to head its real estate division and served as acting CIO in 2013 while then-CIO Joseph Dear was undergoing cancer treatment. The system’s board of administration appointed him interim CIO following Dear’s February 2014 death. In September the board made the move permanent, just two days after announcing that CalPERS was getting out of hedge funds. “At $4 billion, our hedge fund program was too small to make a difference,” says Eliopoulos, who led the review, which determined that hedge funds would need to make up 10 percent of the overall portfolio to have a meaningful impact. “We just couldn’t get comfortable that we could construct a portfolio at that scale and be comfortable with the amount of complexity that would underlie it.”

The 2014 Pension 40

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Bruce Rauner
Illinois
John and
Laura Arnold

Laura and John
Arnold Foundation
Randi Weingarten
American Federation of Teachers
Rahm Emanuel
Chicago
David Boies
Boies, Schiller & Flexner
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Randy DeFrehn
National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans
Damon Silvers
AFL-CIO
Laurence Fink
BlackRock
Chris Christie
New Jersey
Robin Diamonte
United Technologies Corp.
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Ted Eliopoulos
California Public Employees’ Retirement System
John Kline
Minnesota
J. Mark Iwry
U.S. Treasury Department
Gina Raimondo
Rhode Island
Phyllis Borzi
U.S. Labor Department
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Orrin Hatch
Utah
Abigail Johnson
Fidelity Investments
Ted Wheeler
Oregon
Caitlin Long
Morgan Stanley
James Hoffa
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
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Amy Kessler
Prudential Financial
Alejandro
García Padilla

Puerto Rico
Christopher Klein
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Caifornia
Steven Rhodes
Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
Kevin de León
California
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David Draine
Pew Charitable Trusts
Jordan Marks
National Public Pension Coalition
Sam Liccardo
California
Joshua Rauh
Stanford Graduate School of Business
Karen Ferguson and Karen Friedman
Pension Rights Center
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Timothy Blake
Moody’s Investors Service
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Center for Retirement Initiatives, Georgetown University
Edward (Ted) Siedle
Benchmark Financial Services
Daniel Loeb
Third Point
Judy Mares
Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Labor Department
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Andrew Biggs
American Enterprise Institute
Andy Stern
Columbia University
Kenneth Mehlman
KKR & Co.
Teresa Ghilarducci
New School for Social Research
A. Melissa Moye
U.S. Treasury Department


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