GLOBAL – The California Public Employees' Retirement System has appointed former Deutsche Asset Management deputy chief investment officer Russell Read as CIO of the $208bn (€169bn) public pension scheme.

Read, 42, is a chartered financial analyst, financial consultant and life underwriter. He starts on June 1.

Read succeeds Mark Anson, who quit in January to become chief executive of Hermes – the €92.7bn pensions management arm of the €51bn UK-based BT Pension Scheme.

CalPERS assistant executive officer Anne Stausboll - appointed interim CIO until a permanent appointment was made - will resort back to her original position.

Described by CalPERS as “a leader in the investment industry”, Read will oversee the activities of 180 investment staff and a diversified portfolio comprising of fixed income, alternative investments, equities and real estate.

“He brings a wealth of investment management experience that will help us achieve our investment goals for our 1.4 million public employees, our employers and California taxpayers,” said CalPERS administration board president Rob Feckner in a statement.

While at New York-based DeAM Read was responsible for more than $250bn in equity, fixed income and commodity-based investment products for institutional and retail investors. He also chaired Deutsche’s Americas Investment Committee.

“I’m confident that he will be able to develop innovative and new successful investment initiatives that will help us add value to our fund,” said CalPERS Investment Committee chair Charles Valdes in a statement.

In other news, Pittsburgh-based Mellon Financial was one of six firms singled out yesterday by the CalPERS annual Focus List for poor financial and corporate governance performance.

The US companies’ stock performance and governance was labelled “unacceptable” to CalPERS and other shareowners by Rob Feckner.

According to CalPERS, Mellon Financial was placed on the Focus List after its stock fell by 2%compared with a 58% gain for industry peers over the five-year period that ended on March 31, 2006.

However, Mellon expressed it was “disappointed” to be included in the list in light of significant improvements which had not been taken into account.

“Mellon senior executives and an independent member of Mellon’s board have been engaged in a constructive, responsive dialogue with CalPERS for the past several months regarding the matters they raised in announcing today’s list,” according to an official statement.