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Top Minds: Rising to the challenge

Joe Mont | August 2, 2016

Want to imagine a challenging compliance job? Consider the role of Kami Niebank, CalPERS’ Interim chief compliance officer. In that position, she oversees the compliance function at the largest public pension fund in the United States, one with roughly $300 billion assets under management and nearly 3,000 employees.

Not daunting enough? Factor in an ambitious five-year compliance plan that will alternately refine and overhaul CalPERS’ entire compliance regime. That project is now winding down its inaugural year.

We’ll back up a bit, however, before getting to that complex project. In Niebank’s own words she “took a really circuitous route to compliance.”

“I never really thought of myself as a compliance person or a compliance expert by any means,” Niebank says, describing a career path that elevated her to deputy chief compliance officer and interim head. Prior to CalPERS, she worked in the financial services industry and thinks of herself as “more an...

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