Stephen Gilmore

Stephen Gilmore

CalPERS appoints Gilmore as CIO

Stephen Gilmore has taken up the CIO role at CalPERS, leaving NZ Super in June.

Stephen Gilmore, Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of New Zealand Super, will leave the fund at the end of June 2024 to take up the role of CIO at the largest pension plan in the United States, the USD494 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS).

“It has been a great privilege and pleasure to have been able to work with such a talented and dedicated team over the past five years. The Guardians of NZ Superannuation has an inspirational purpose and is, in many respects, world leading. I look forward to celebrating its future successes,” Gilmore said.

Paula Steed, acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NZ Super, said she was sorry to lose Gilmore, but recognised the exceptional career opportunity that he was offered.

“Stephen has made a significant contribution to the sophistication of the NZ Super Fund since he joined us in early 2019, a period during which the fund has grown by more than $30 billion, nearly doubling in size,” Steed said.

“He has championed the role of new technology in enabling better investment decision-making, brought innovative and disciplined thinking to our investment processes and, as Chair of our responsible investment strategy refresh, has been key to our shift towards a sustainable investment approach. These enduring changes have helped to position us well to manage the ongoing growth in the fund.”

The departure of Gilmore comes only days after NZ Super announced that it had appointed Jo Townsend as its new CEO, following the resignation of Matt Whineray last year.

At CalPERS, Gilmore will oversee a team of more than 300 investment professionals and a portfolio valued at US $494.6 billion. CalPERS has only just launched a sweeping Sustainable Investments 2030 plan, which includes investing US$100 billion in climate solutions over the next six years. He succeeds Nicole Musicco, who left CalPERS as CIO in September.

Marcie Frost, CEO of CalPERS, welcomed Gilmore to the fund.

“Stephen has worked in very public roles during his career for organizations where transparency and resiliency are essential,” Frost said. “He brings not only a wealth of investing knowledge to the job, but he also has the temperament to understand the needs of our members and public sector employers who depend on CalPERS to be a steady, long-term partner.”

As a public pension fund, CalPERS is required to disclose the remuneration of its executives. The annual salary for Gilmore, not including incentives based on fund performance relative to established benchmarks, is set at US$718,750.

Gilmore has had a career that is both impressive and dramatic, dealing with warlords in Tajikistan, working at AIG during its bail out and worked at Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Future Fund, as Chief Investment Strategist before joining NZ Super.

To listen to an extended podcast interview with Gilmore, please see here.


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