The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has hired Paul Mouchakkaa as senior investment officer for real assets.

The US pension fund said Mouchakkaa would succeed Ted Eliopoulos, who was named chief investment officer in September last year.

Mouchakkaa, who takes over the position next month, will oversee CalPERS’s $29.6bn real assets portfolio, which includes real estate, infrastructure and forestry.

The change reflects a move among large institutional investors to target real assets, including infrastructure. Last month, UK insurer Legal & General announced it was combining its infrastructure and real estate operations into a single real assets division.

Real estate remains the largest part of the institution’s real asset portfolio, valued at approximately $25bn. As reported late last year, CalPERS is boosting its real estate allocation by $6bn.

Mouchakkaa has been hired from Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing, where he was managing director. He was previously managing director at Pension Consulting Alliance and, before that, a real estate portfolio manager at CalPERS.