April 16, 2018 / 9:09 PM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 1-CalPERS managing investment director of fixed income to retire

(Adds details about fixed income, other recent CalPERS appointees)

By Laila Kearney

NEW YORK, April 16 (Reuters) - The director of investment management for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s $69.4 billion of global fixed income assets will retire next month, CalPERS officials said on Monday.

Curtis Ishii, who spent his entire 40-year investment career with the United States’ largest public employee pension fund, is due to retire on May 8. Global fixed income is the second largest asset class in CalPERS’ portfolio, behind only global equity.

CalPERS’ senior portfolio manager for fixed income, Arnie Phillips, will serve in Ishii’s role on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is seated.

“Curtis has always been at the center of advice for the investment team,” Chief Investment Officer Ted Eliopoulos said at a CalPERS board meeting on Monday. “His advice and counsel and recommendations are respected and have provided great leadership to CalPERS over the years.”

During his tenure, Ishii helped manage assets of what is now a $351 billion fund through the tech bubble burst of the early 2000s, the European debt crisis and the Great Recession, among other financial storms.

He leaves his post after helping earn CalPERS a total of $4.3 billion in excess dollar return above the benchmark, Eliopoulos said.

Ishii’s departure comes at a time of greater managerial change for CalPERS.

Last week, Elisabeth Bourqui was named chief operating officer for the agency, and Beth Richtman was designated CalPERS’ first managing director of its sustainable investments program.

Ishii will continue to advise the fund during a transition period through July. (Reporting by Laila Kearney, editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Jonathan Oatis)

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