TRS invests in PE, eyes opportunistic real estate

The $30 billion Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois (TRS) will commit up to $1.2 billion to private equity, and will focus on opportunistic investments in real estate including emerging manager initiatives, as it aims to reach its new long-term allocations in those sectors by year end.

In real estate, where there is also a search underway for a consultant, the fund has a new strategic target of 14 per cent.

In private equity the new allocation will see an increase from 8 to 10 per cent of the fund, and the board has approved a tactical plan for the fiscal year that calls for commitments of between $700 million and $1.2 billion during the next year.

TRS hired an alternative investments officer, Zak Doehla, in June who will oversee the private equity portfolio which includes nearly 70 private equity relationships.

The fund has undergone a number of organisational changes, with a new law enacted in the summer which terminated the employment of TRS executive director, Jon Bauman, a provision that the fund was not consulted about in the final days before the law was approved.

The chief investment officer, Stan Rupnik, is acting exective director and there is a search underway for a permanent executive director under search firm, Hudepohl & Associates.

That law also saw the termination of three trustees, and six new trustees have been appointed.

The fund is also looking for a global macro and global large cap manager.