Joncarlo Mark to depart CalPERS

The senior portfolio manager for CalPERS’ alternative investments programme will stay on until 31 March.

Joncarlo Mark, senior portfolio manager in the alternatives programme at the $228 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System, has resigned, a CalPERS spokesperson confirmed. Mark will stay on until 31 March.

Mark, who joined CalPERS’ in 1999, is a part of the team that is responsible for investing in private equity partnerships and direct investments while monitoring a portfolio that currently exceeds $50 billion of invested and committed capital.

“Joncarlo has played a key role as a successful manager and investor for CalPERS,” said Joe Dear, CalPERS’ CIO, in a statement. “We thank him for his service and commitment and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

It’s not clear why Mark is leaving his post.

Joncarlo Mark

CalPERS is interviewing candidates for Mark’s replacement and anticipates concluding the search within the next few weeks, according to the spokesman.

Prior to joining CalPERS in 1999, Mark spent six years with Premier Farnell, a global electronics and industrial products company.

Last year, Mark found himself in the spotlight during then-California Attorney General Jerry Brown’s pension fund probe.

While never accused of wrongdoing in the investigation, Mark testified over the summer that he took 10 to 12 trips on private jets to destinations including New York, Las Vegas, Mumbai and Shanghai. CalPERS’ Mark also testified that he has accepted personal gifts, including meals, paid by such firms to help them win CalPERS business. Mark said he had also received bottles of wine, boxes of chocolates, and books.

It was during this same investigation that it was revealed the pension’s former head of private equity, Leon Shahinian, failed to disclose an allegedly lavish trip paid for by Alfred Villalobos, who runs placement firm ARVCO. Villalobos, a former CalPERS board member, is being sued by California’s Attorney General for alleged fraudulent activities relating to his work soliciting commitments from the pension system.

Shahinian stepped down in August, and CalPERS is also searching for his replacement.