California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) said late Wednesday Yu Ben Meng resigned as its chief investment officer, Reuters reported.
California Globe reported in February when House Armed Services Committee member Rep. Jim Banks (R-IND) sent California Governor Gavin Newsom a letter calling for the investigation of the Chief Investment Officer Yu Ben Meng of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the largest public pension fund in the nation, for his “long and cozy relationship with China.”
“If this were up to me, I would fire [CalPERS Chief Investment Officer Yu Ben Meng] immediately because of these suspicious ties,” Banks said. “We learned that Mr. Meng, who is the chief investment officer of CalPERS, was actually recruited to this position by the [Chinese Communist Party] through something called the Thousand Talents Program. Now he’s denied it.”
“What is unusual is that many of these companies are companies that we’ve blacklisted, that make Chinese military equipment or are responsible for technologies like Hikvision, which is the equipment that’s used by the Chinese for surveillance on the Uighur Muslim population that they’ve been abusing in their own country,” Banks said.
Rep. Jim Banks just released the following statement:
“Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to fund our adversary’s military. With Yu Ben Meng’s departure, CalPERS now has the opportunity to correct its course and divest from companies within China’s military-industrial complex.
“The United States government must do more to stop the flow of U.S. capital to companies affiliated with the Chinese military. That’s why I’ve introduced a permanent solution to this issue with the “Stop Funding the PLA Act” that would block U.S. investments—including investments from pension funds—in China’s military industrial base. Congress should take up and pass this legislation now.”
The need for this legislation became apparent again this week when it was reported that coronavirus stimulus loans were paid to companies with ties to China’s aviation and defense industries.
As California Globe reported, Mr. Meng was hired as Deputy CIO of China’s State Admission of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) in 2015, which is a Chinese Communist Party Agency responsible for managing $3 trillion in state-owned assets.
Banks told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo that they found Yu Ben Meng was actually recruited to the CIO position by the CCP through something called the Thousand Talents Program. Banks said they notified Gov. Newsom, who denied this. Banks also wondered why California would allow Yu Ben Meng to have access to the state’s public employee retirement funds. Banks also said they found Chinese newspaper articles which take credit for Yu Ben Meng being in the position at CalPERS.
In an article in the Chinese newspaper Society People, they write about Mr. Meng:
“He, once a well-known person on Wall Street in the United States, managed the largest public retirement fund in North America. Two years ago, he gave up the comfortable life in the United States and returned to contribute to the country’s foreign exchange reserves. He is Meng Yu, the deputy chief investment officer of the Central Foreign Exchange Business Center of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (pictured above, profile photo).”
Mr. Meng said, “In human life, if there is an opportunity to serve the motherland, such responsibility and honor cannot be compared to anything.”
“Since 2001, Meng Yu has successively worked in many internationally renowned financial institutions such as Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers, and Barclays, and has successively held positions as bond trader, credit analyst, and investment director. In 2008, he joined the California Public Employees Retirement Management System, the largest public retirement fund in North America, where he was primarily responsible for asset allocation. Since 2011, Meng Yu has been the asset allocation director of the California public employee retirement management system, managing more than 300 billion US dollars of assets.”
“Outside of work, he also teaches courses in risk management, international finance and currency at the invitation of UC Berkeley and UC Davis.”