29. Marcie Frost
Marcie Frost is the CEO of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, all $400 billion of it, which is one of the most important financial entities in the United States, much less California. CalPERS’ headquarters is only a mile from the Capitol, but apart from a rare scandal or some other controversy – or a Great Recession – CalPERS draws little attention. Except from Wall Street. Frost and her staff of 2,800 people ride herd on CalPERS, which has about 1.9 million members and a $1.8 billion annual budget. Like everything else, CalPERS has been affected by the pandemic-fueled economic downturn, which has “thrown a fresh spotlight on the challenges that public pension funds face in delivering retirement security to public employees.” CalPERS has put together its own 7 percent solution – no connection to Sherlock Holmes – to achieve a 7 percent rate of return over time on its sprawling portfolio. Frost knows money: She headed Washington state’s retirement system before coming to CalPERS in 2016, and she served in Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s cabinet.
Updated Aug. 11, 2020