CalPERS will be holding two days of meetings next month to reach out to emerging and diverse managers, said Laurie Weir, senior portfolio manager, targeted investment programs.
The meetings are part of efforts by CalPERS to increase the number of minority- and women-owned money managers with which the pension fund does business, Ms. Weir said.
Under California Proposition 209, the retirement system cannot use racial or gender preference in selecting money management firms. But sources familiar with CalPERS’ operations say there are no prohibitions that prevent the retirement system from being inclusive in terms of encouraging more women- and minority-owned investment management firms to do business with the $301.5 billion pension plan.
Ms. Weir said CalPERS officials not only believe that diversity is a good societal goal, they also believe a more diverse lineup of managers can ultimately help investments results.
The first event, scheduled for Sept. 9 at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s headquarters in Sacramento, will give money management executives the opportunity to meet with CalPERS senior staff from private equity, global equity and real estate, Ms. Weir said.
More than 50 firms have signed up to participate, said CalPERS spokesman Joe DeAnda. He said registration is now closed for that event.
Registration is still open for a second event, a CalPERS diversity forum on Sept. 10.
Ms. Weir said that event will look not just at women and minority representation at investment firms, but also on corporate boards, and discuss best practices for building a diverse and inclusive culture.
In addition to CalPERS, organizations that will participate in the forum include the $191.4 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System, West Sacramento; The Blackstone Group and The Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, she said.
Ms. Weir said the forum is geared for corporate board members and executives, diversity officers, institutional investors and investment companies, and representatives from academic institutions
Registration can be made here.