Joseph Dear has one of the highest-profile investing jobs in the world—and one of the hardest. As chief investment officer of the $229.4 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the largest public pension plan in the U.S., Dear manages the retirement savings for 1.6 million of the state’s employees, retirees and their families. He has his work cut out for him: CalPERS needs to achieve an annual return target of 7.5 percent to meet its obligations to current and future retirees.
|Joseph Dear: Paying for beta in a hedge fund is not a smart strategy (Photographs by Lisa Weisman) |
That won’t be easy, given the current economic environment — U.S. Treasury rates are hovering below 2 percent, the European debt crisis is casting a pall over global markets, and equities and other asset classes remain volatile. CalPERS is not alone. Pensions around the U.S....