Ben Meng, the former investment boss of the nation’s largest pension fund, is joining Franklin Resources Inc. for its push into Asia.
As executive vice president and chairman of Asia Pacific, Mr. Meng will help oversee the San Mateo money manager’s strategy in the region. He will also lead its China business.
The firm known as Franklin Templeton is turning to a former investor for a Chinese state institution. Mr. Meng was deputy chief investment officer for the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, the agency in charge of China’s foreign reserves, between 2015 and 2018.
A China-born U.S. citizen and civil engineering Ph.D, he took on the top investment role at California Public Employees’ Retirement System in 2019. Mr. Meng’s return to the investing community comes roughly a year after he resigned from Calpers.
He left amid an internal review that touched on whether his personal investment holdings violated conflict-of-interest rules. A state commission also examined Mr. Meng’s conduct. There is no evidence Mr. Meng steered money into firms to boost his shareholdings, which he also reported. Mr. Meng hasn’t been notified of charges or fines on the matter.