Joncarlo Mark and Michael Dutton, senior portfolio managers of CalPERS' $47.5 billion alternative investment management program, resigned, confirmed Clark McKinley, spokesman for the $226.5 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento.
Neither Mr. Mark nor Mr. Dutton gave a reason for resigning, Mr. McKinley said.
Mr. Mark's resignation is effective March 31 and Mr. Dutton's sometime in March, Mr. McKinley said. Their duties will be taken up by other staff in the AIM program.
Messrs. Mark and Dutton announced their resignations separately sometime “earlier” within CalPERS “and we are confirming them today,” Mr. McKinley said. It isn't known what their plans are, he said.
Messrs. Mark and Dutton couldn't be reached for comment. But in a statement, Mr. Mark said, “I have decided to move on to the next stage of my life and career. … I leave CalPERS with great satisfaction that our hard-working team and I have been able to construct a top-notch, global private equity portfolio that is positioned to generate meaningful returns for years to come. ... I will begin to explore what's next for me on the career horizon.”
CalPERS officials likely will wait to replace Messrs. Mark and Dutton until the system hires a replacement for Leon Shahinian, former senior investment officer of the AIM program, who resigned the position last August. CalPERS had placed Mr. Shahinian on administrative leave in May after he was identified in a lawsuit by then-California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. against Frederico Buenrostro Jr., a former CalPERS CEO, and Alfred Villalobos, a former CalPERS board member. Mr. Villalobos was accused of improperly influencing investment decisions at CalPERS. Mr. Buenrostro was accused to taking gifts from Mr. Villalobos, according to a Pensions & Investmentsreport. Mr. Shahinian wasn't accused of wrongdoing in the suit.
Joseph A. Dear, chief investment officer, has been serving as interim senior investment officer for the AIM program.
In a July deposition in the case, Mr. Mark said he and CalPERS' top investment staff regularly traveled on private jets and in first-class of commercial jets on trips paid for by investment managers to discuss strategy and attend meetings with various private equity firms, according to a P&I report. Mr. Mark also detailed receiving gifts of bottles of wine and Champagne, chocolates, expensive meals and a toy for his child from CalPERS' external investment managers. He said he reported none of the gifts, although required to do so by state law. Mr. Mark was not charged with wrongdoing in the case.
Mr. Dutton wasn't involved in the case.
Mr. Mark, who has been with CalPERS since 1999, “has played a key role in the development of the system's private equity program,” according to a CalPERS statement Tuesday.
Mr. Dear said in the statement, “Joncarlo has played a key role as a successful manager and investor for CalPERS. Joncarlo helped lead the CalPERS Alternative Investments Management program producing above benchmark returns during his 12-year career. His leadership also helped establish the AIM program's reputation as a pioneer in the private equity industry. In addition, as chairperson of the Institutional Limited Partners Association, he has helped spearhead important private equity industry changes that will benefit institutional investors for years to come. We thank him for his service and commitment and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Mr. Dutton, who joined CalPERS in 2006, headed up the CalPERS' health-care investment initiative, committing in 2007 up to $500 million for direct co-investments, health-care-focused private equity funds, and strategic joint ventures.