SACRAMENTO, Calif. (HedgeWorld.com)–The California Public Employees’ Retirement System promoted one of its own to fill a high-profile role overseeing the US$162 billion pension fund’s closely watched Alternative Investment Management program.

Leon G. Shahinian, formerly a senior principal investment officer at the fund, was named senior investment officer for the US$20 billion alternatives program, which includes hedge funds and private equity. He joined CalPERS in 1998.

Mr. Shahinian replaces Richard J. Hayes, who left the fund in June to join Oak Hill Partners, a private equity and hedge fund manager, as a managing partner.

Mark Anson, CalPERS’ chief investment officer, said the promotion of Mr. Shahinian, a former senior credit analyst for Sacramento Commercial Bank, meant the Alternative Investment Management Program was in good hands. “I’m extremely confident in Leon and his skills … ,” Mr. Anson said. “Leon has been instrumental in helping us to build a strong, diverse and world-class private equity program.”

CClair@HedgeWorld.com

Contact Robert F. Keane with questions and comments at: bkeane@ia-mag.com.