California state controller asks CalPERS to investigate CIO's exit

A sign at CalPERS headquarters in Sacramento
·1 min read

(Reuters) - The California State Controller Betty Yee has called for the board of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest public U.S. investment fund, to launch an inquiry into the abrupt exit of its chief investment officer.

Yu Ben Meng, a U.S. citizen born in China, resigned from his position at the $400 billion fund last week, saying he needed to focus on his health and family.

In a letter sent to CalPERS' Board President Henry Jones on Monday, Yee called for a "swift and thorough inquiry" to determine whether any laws had been violated or whether the pension system had suffered "financial and reputational damage".

Yee said the board should convene within 48 hours of receipt of the letter.

Meng's resignation came amid pressure from the Trump administration to curb investments in China.

Meng has twice worked for CalPERS, the first time starting in 2008 and the second time beginning in January 2019 when he became CIO, according to the fund's website.

In between the CalPERS stints, Meng worked for three years as deputy CIO with China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), which oversees China’s U.S. Treasury security holdings.

CalPERS manages pension and health benefits for more than 1.6 million California public employees, retirees and their families.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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