Former CalPERS CIO Launches New Venture

November 12, 2008 ( - The former Chief Investment Officer of the nation's largest public pension fund has launched a new venture.

In announcing his departure from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) last April, former CIO Russell Read said he planned “to pursue his long-standing interest in environmental and cleantech investing” (see CalPERS CIO Announces Resignation ). The announcement of the formation of C Change Investments, LLC by its co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Russell Read, would appear to be the fulfillment of that objective.

According to the announcement, the firm’s focus will be on “investments that address global challenges in natural resource consumption and energy demand, while protecting the environment.” C Change aims to “set itself apart from other investment companies by being an active technology development and scale-up partner to the venture capital community,” according to the firm.

Clean Energy Focus

“We intend to play a key role in identifying, developing and deploying innovative clean energy technologies, new construction techniques to conserve energy, and advanced materials as well as insightful strategies for managing renewable resources,” said Read in a press release.

C Change was co-founded by John Preston, the former director of MIT Technology Development and, according to the announcement, a recognized expert in technology commercialization. He is leading the firm’s efforts to source and develop an array of clean energy and natural resource technologies.

In focusing on the development through deployment of clean technologies, C Change management and advisors will rely on extensive ties with leading research institutions including MIT, Harvard, UC Berkeley and Stanford. Strategic relationships have already been established with companies that are developing or deploying transformative technologies, according to the firm.

Collaboration Announced

It was also announced that one such relationship involves a collaboration between C Change, Bio Medical City, Inc of Korea and two Korean government agencies to develop what was described as a “first-of-a-kind ecologically sustainable Medical Science Green City” to be located within Sejong, which is to become the new administrative capital of Korea.

The Me Science Green City is expected to include a complex of world-class schools, medical facilities and leisure sports facilities. “The $3 billion project is part of a mammoth effort to build a highly efficient, near-zero carbon emission new capital to relocate Korea’s national government office buildings,” according to the announcement. C Change says it will play a “key role” in project financing and catalyzing clean technology, green building and biomedical technology transfers in the proposed complex.

“Our participation in this project brings to bear the firm’s capability in deploying clean technologies for what we hope will be a transformational city. It also highlights that we intend to be a global player,” said Read.

Further information regarding C Change Investments can be found