The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) is an agency in the California executive branch, based in Sacramento, that manages pension and health benefits for more than 1.6 million California public employees and retirees. CalPERS manages the largest public pension fund in the United States and one of the biggest pension funds in the world with $360 billion in assets.
CalPERS had been using the Ryedale platform since 2015, licensing the asset allocation module to provide portfolio management and order management solutions for CalPERS’ Affiliate Program that their existing Charles River software was unable to provide. In 2017 CalPERS wanted to extend the use of the Ryedale platform to help support the regular index-driven portfolio rebalancing to optimise the transfer of equities between funds rather than the sale and repurchase. Previously these activities had been performed using complex spreadsheet analysis. The key business requirements for CalPERS for Transitions were:
CalPERS implemented the Transitions module at CalPERS in 2017, initially as an on-premises solution, and performed their first ‘transition’ in June 2017. In December 2018 the software was transferred to Ryedale’s Managed Service hosted Ryedale’s Microsoft Azure infrastructure.
Initially Ryedale performed a detailed analysis of CalPERS’ requirements for the transitions module. The project was run with Ryedale’s software developers regularly liaising with the CalPERS team. The London development team, who regularly visited Sacramento, were supported by an onsite team of two consultants who helped manage the configuration and testing of the module.
The project to implement the Transitions module of the Ryedale Platform in CalPERS took six months in total. Since the first transition in 2017, the fact that software rather than a spreadsheet is used means that CalPERS has been able to perform more frequent transitions. Indeed, the Ryedale system has been used to implement over 30 transitions , involving multi-billion dollars transfers, and with each one helping CalPERS to make significant cost savings. The Transition module also integrates seamlessly with Ryedale’s Allocations and Index modules.