(Bloomberg) -- Jean Hsu, the global head of private debt at California Public Employees’ Retirement System, resigned after almost a quarter-century at the largest US pension fund.

“My time at Calpers has been the opportunity of a lifetime – and after 25 rewarding years, it is time to start a new chapter,” Hsu wrote in an email to investment firms seen by Bloomberg News. She’ll remain at Calpers until July. 

Hsu hasn’t decided her next steps, but may seek out board roles, people with knowledge of the matter said.

A Calpers spokesperson didn’t have an immediate comment.

The Calpers veteran cited the fund’s participation in more than $5 billion of Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility deals starting in 2009 as a “significant milestone” during her tenure.

That program’s success “demonstrated how Calpers, as a public pension manager, could lead and take creative risk at a time of market uncertainty,” Hsu said in the email. 

Hsu also helped build the Calpers collateralized loan obligations portfolio in the wake of the financial crisis, “when few others were doing the same,” she wrote. The pension fund acted as an anchor investor, cementing its position “as an industry leader at one of the most uncertain times in market history.”

Calpers had about $11.9 billion in CLO exposure as of Dec. 31, according to a presentation.

In recent years, she wrote, Calpers has had high returns from a private-debt portfolio it began building in 2019.

Calpers’s private debt exposure totaled $12.8 billion as of April 30 and was the firm’s best-performing segment last year with a return of 13.3% through Dec. 31 — outperforming an 8.8% return from private equity, according to a disclosure. The pension fund also had about $13 billion in unfunded private debt commitments at year-end.

‘She’s Different’

Taipei, Taiwan-born Hsu moved to the US in 1995 as a Fulbright scholar at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She’s currently a managing investment director for private debt and joined Calpers in 2000, according to her LinkedIn profile. She previously held roles including managing investment director for opportunistic strategies.

“She’s different from other LPs because of her confidence and authority to innovate, which she has done in a very significant size for Calpers,” said Mike Koester, the co-founder of 5C Investment Partners. 

Koester began working with Hsu in the spring of 2020 ahead of the California pension fund’s roughly $3 billion commitment to an opportunistic credit strategy managed by Koester’s then-firm, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. 

Hsu’s expertise and long-term investment view enabled Calpers to “deliver strong returns for millions of California’s public employees and ensure their pension sustainability,” said Goldman’s Marc Nachmann, the bank’s head of asset and wealth management. 

Last month, Calpers named Stephen Gilmore from New Zealand’s sovereign wealth fund as its new chief investment officer to run its roughly $495 billion portfolio, as the fund seeks to recover from years of leadership churn.

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