Overview

Peter Mixon has more than twenty years of experience advising public pension plans and other institutional investors on fiduciary duties, investments, operations, and litigation. As a member of Nossaman’s Public Pensions & Investment Group, he concentrates on trust law, investment transactions and funding issues. Peter has extensive experience advising public boards and committees on fiduciary and governance issues. He is a well-known speaker on public pensions and has testified in state court as an expert on public pension fiduciary standards.

Before joining Nossaman, Peter served as General Counsel for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) for 11 years. In this position, he provided counsel to the Board and Chief Executive Officer on all aspects of investments, operations, strategy, and governance. He advised the Board and executive staff on myriad fiduciary issues, including funding, benefits administration, contracting and vendor services, employer bankruptcies, governance, and investments. Peter also advised CalPERS on a wide variety of investment issues which implicated the fiduciary responsibilities of the Board and its executive officers, including private fund transactions and reviews, public market regulatory issues, financial services contracts, ESG investing, delegations, risk management, asset allocation, and investment policies. Peter also advised the organization on all types of investment transactions, including private equity, real estate, venture capital, hedge funds, and public market investments. He also oversaw an outside review of placement agent activities of former officials, resulting in recovery of $215 million in investment fees paid by the system. As part of this review, Peter helped draft California legislation regulating placement agent disclosure requirements and fee limits. He also provided legal advice on the Board’s Corporate Governance Program, effectively guiding engagement on majority voting, proxy access, and other governance issues. He served on the New York Stock Exchange Commission on Corporate Governance. He advised the staff on public disclosure laws, including legal rights and responsibilities, and he supervised the defense of several lawsuits brought under the California Public Records Act as well as a comprehensive Board Governance Project, substantially improving the effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability of the Board and staff. Finally, Peter conducted over a dozen legal education workshops for board members, executives, and constituent groups.

Since leaving CalPERS, Peter has continued to represent public pension plans in California and across the country on a variety of specific matters relating to plan administration, retirement benefits, and litigation. His practice has focused on the application of fiduciary duty and other trust law to the funding, benefit and contracting actions, investments, and policies of public systems. For California plans, his practice includes advice on the specific governing statutes of the system. Peter also maintains a robust practice of representing plans on investment matters, including investment policies as well as the negotiation of limited partnership, Limited Liability Company, collective investment trust, mutual fund, and similar deals on behalf of municipal and state pension plans. He also has negotiated public market investment management contracts and financial service agreements on behalf of his clients.

Experience

Experience

  • Advised state pension plan on fiduciary, funding and benefits issues arising from proposed merger with another plan.
  • Advised municipal pension plan and state plan on fiduciary and related issues arising from proposed divestment of certain plan assets.
  • Advised municipal pension plan on conflict of interest requirements for investment managers.
  • Advised state plan on fiduciary duties in connection with discount rate and other funding decisions.
  • Advised municipal pension plan on comprehensive governance project.
  • Advised state pension plan on constitutional issues arising from proposed legislative changes to appropriations for investment and related expenses.
  • Advised municipal plan on insider trading prohibitions.
  • Advised local plan on comprehensive review of benefit payment practices and corrective action plan.
  • Advised local plan on First Amendment rights and fiduciary obligations of plan.
  • Advised local plans on due process and related issues.
  • Negotiated fund documents for private market investments on behalf of state and municipal pension plans.

Insights

Publications

Speaking Engagements

Podcasts

  • How Will the Biden Administration Impact Public Pension Investments?

Organizations

Community & Professional

National Association of Public Pension Plan Attorneys, Member of the Executive Board  (2009-2013)

New York Stock Exchange Commission on Corporate Governance, Chair, Investors
Subcommittee (2009-2010)

Education

Admissions

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