Calpers, the biggest U.S. public pension fund, said on Tuesday that unofficial election results show Kurato Shimada and Joseph 'J.J.' Jelincic winning member-at-large seats on its board.
Calpers, the California Public Employees' Retirement System, said Shimada was re-elected to his seat with more than 83 percent of valid votes cast from September 4 through October 2, and Jelincic won a run-off election for the other seat being vacated by Charles Valdes.
Jelincic's election will help Calpers distance itself from image problems arising from placement agents -- middlemen who help sell investments to pension funds.
Amid scrutiny on the role of placement agents at pension funds, Calpers last week tightened policies on board members' involvement in investment decisions.
They now are required to channel communications on existing or potential investments to the fund's chief investment officer. Board members must also refrain from advocating an investment with Calpers staff outside board or committee meetings.
The new policy comes as Valdes' term is set to expire. He will leave Calpers on the heels of a December recommendation by California's political campaign watchdog agency that he be fined for receiving member-at-large board campaign contributions in 2005 that exceeded state limits.
Most of the contributions to that effort came from associates of Alfred Villalobos, a former Calpers board member whose firms are under scrutiny at the retirement system for placement agent fees for helping investment firms win business at the fund.
Results indicate Jelincic received 51 percent of valid votes cast in the runoff election compared with 49 percent for board candidate Cathy Hackett.
Active and retired members of the $202 billion pension fund elect the member-at-large representatives, who sit on a 13-member board charged with setting investment policies and overseeing the fund's administration of retirement and health benefits.
Shimada is a retired supervisor of operations for the Oak Grove School District in San Jose, California, who was first elected to the Calpers Board in 1987 by active public school members. He left the board in 1999 and returned in 2002 to fill a member-at-large seat. He was reelected in 2005.
Jelincic is an investment officer at Calpers and a former president of the California State Employees Association.
Formal certification of the election results are expected in the next week or two and Shimada and Jelincic will begin their four-year terms on January 16.
(Reporting by Jim Christie; Editing by James Dalgleish)