February 26, 2016 – Heidrick & Struggles has been selected by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) to lead its search for a new chief executive officer. Current CEO Anne Stausboll announced at the end of last month that she would step down in June. Renee Neri, a partner in Heidrick’s New York office and a member of the firm’s asset management & wealth management practices, will spearhead the search.
CalPERS incoming chief will be responsible for ensuring that the organization achieves strategic objectives established by the board of administration, while cultivating a high performing, risk intelligent, collaborative, and innovative culture, according to documents outlining the position specifications.
CalPERS is seeking in its next CEO someone with at least 15 years of experience leading large, complex and high performing organizations. Being politically astute and balancing the needs and objectives of multiple stakeholders is clearly seen as prerequisites for anyone considering the post.
For more than eight decades, CalPERS has built retirement and health security for state, school, and public agency members who invest their lifework in public service. Its pension fund serves more than 1.7 million members in the CalPERS retirement system and administers benefits for nearly 1.4 million members and their families in its health program, making it the largest defined-benefit public pension in the U.S.
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Ms. Neri has over 15 years of experience in senior executive search work with a focus on serving the recruitment needs of asset and wealth management companies. She has conducted hundreds of searches over the course of her career, including presidents, chief investment officers, senior portfolio managers as well as senior sales, marketing and distribution professionals. Her clients span a diverse portfolio of family offices, insurance companies, endowments, foundations, pension funds, wealth managers, and investment management firms.
Heidrick & Struggles’ asset management team serves the asset, wealth management and hedge fund sectors. It provides talent acquisition and retention strategies across key positions in leadership, product and portfolio management, distribution and infrastructure. Chad Astmann serves as the firm’s practice leader.
In recent months, Heidrick has filled a number of CEO roles for a variety of companies, including Edward D. Breen as chairman and CEO chemical maker DuPont as well as Bradley C. Jones as president and CEO of the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), a corporation responsible for operating New York state’s bulk electricity grid. Southwest Gas Corporation also recently tapped Heidrick to lead the CEO search for its construction services subsidiary Centuri Construction Group, Inc.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media