CalPERS Chief Investment Officer Dies At 62

Joseph Dear, the chief investment officer of CalPERS, the nation's largest public pension system has died. He helped the fund recover from substantial losses incurred during the recession.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Today's last word is a remembrance of chief investment officer Joseph A. Dear.

He headed the largest public pension fund in the country, the California Public Employees Retirement System, also known as CalPERS. When Dear joined the company in 2009, CalPERS had suffered brutal losses during the Great Recession - nearly $100 billion in losses. Dear turned the fund around, rebuilding it, ultimately recovering those losses. Last year, the fund earned a 16.2 percent return.

When I spoke to Dear in 2011, he urged a focus on retirement security.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

JOSEPH DEAR: The debate in the United States really ought to center around what is retirement security so that all Americans can have a time of leisure after a life of work, where they can enjoy the fruits of their labor. And we are not accumulating enough in the U.S. now to make that promise a reality for all Americans, and that's a significant social issue.

WERTHEIMER: Joseph Dear died in Sacramento last week of prostate cancer. He was 62.

And that is the business news on MORNING EDITION on NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

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