Russell Read was named chief investment officer and deputy chief executive officer of Gulf Investment Corp., Kuwait.
Mr. Read, in a telephone interview from Kuwait where he is based, said he is looking forward to the new challenge of helping foster economic development in the six-country Mideast region of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and the United Arab Emirates
He said he will be looking at a wide range of investment opportunities including those in health care, agriculture and industrial development.
“I was fascinated with the economic potential of the region,” he said.
He said Gulf Investment Corp. was formed in 1983 to be a super sovereign wealth fund but several years later was rededicated to a broader economic development mission. “It's nice being in a region with a fiscal surplus,” Mr. Read joked.
Mr. Read was CIO of the now-$228 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, for two years. He left in April 2008, citing leadership changes on the CalPERS board that resulted in his departure.
After CalPERS, Mr. Read launched C Change Investments, a Cambridge, Mass., firm that invests in “green” oriented agriculture, water and energy technologies. He said he remains a principal and senior adviser at the firm.