Marcie Frost, CalPERS chief executive officer.
Marcie Frost will assume the role of CalPERS CEO in October.

LOS ANGELES - Pension fund veteran Marcie Frost will helm the nation's largest public employee retirement plan, the California Public Employees' Retirement System.

The CalPERS Board of Administration announced the appointment Thursday.

Frost, 51, most recently served as the director of the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems. She will assume her new role Oct. 3, replacing Anne Stausboll, who had served since January 2009 and retired at the end of June.

Deputy executive officer of operations and technology Doug Hoffner is interim CEO.

Upon assuming her duties, Frost will become the top officer of a retirement system that serves more than 1.7 million, boasts 2,870 employees, and wields a budget of more than $1.7 billion. CalPERS' total fund market value currently stands at approximately $301 billion.

"Marcie is a seasoned public pension fund administrator and we couldn't be happier that she will lead the Fund and be part of our CalPERS family," said Rob Feckner, president of the CalPERS Board. "The selection of Marcie was unanimous by the CalPERS Board members involved. She has demonstrated throughout her career strong leadership and innovation, an emphasis on customer satisfaction, and team collaboration that will be fundamental to the future of CalPERS."

Frost's arrival comes not long after CalPERS put scandal behind it.

Former CEO Federico "Fred" Buenrostro, who served from 2002-2008, received a prison sentence of four and a half years in May nearly two years after pleading guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for influencing CalPERS staff. Earlier that same month, CalPERS had announced its purchase of a 10% stake in the Indiana Toll Road, the system's first infrastructure investment. CalPERS also revised its investment return assumptions late last year after significant pressure to do some from California Gov. Jerry Brown, but Brown and other critics maintain that the system continues to rely on unrealistic return assumptions. CalPERS has defended its policy.

Frost, a native Washingtonian, had a long stint with the Washington DRS. She joined in 2000 and held leadership roles in human resources, information services, and operations. She was deputy director for the retirement systems for four years before being appointed director in 2013. She also serves as an ex officio member of the Washington State Investment Board. Prior to that, Frost worked as a benefits administrator with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries managing compensation and benefit programs for public employees. She is pursuing dual bachelors and master's degree in public administration from Evergreen State College.

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