UNITED STATES - The $178bn (€137.4bn) California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest public pension fund in the US, has named Joseph Dear, executive director of the Washington State Investment Board (WSIB) and chairman of the council of institutional investors, as its new chief investment officer.

The appointment will end the fund's nine-month search for a new investment head following the departure of Russell Read, who quit in April last year after two years at the company.

Dear will assume his new role in March.

"Dear has more than 20 years experience managing large governmental bodies and, in particular under his leadership over the last six years, WSIB has had good results and been exceptionally well-managed," said Rob Feckner, president of the CalPERS board of administration.

"He was our unanimous choice to serve our board, and I am confident he will do an exceptional job as CIO. We look forward to working with him," Feckner added.

Dear has held his post as executive director of WSIB since 2002, and prior to that he worked for Frank Russell Company.

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