by Keren Holland
US – The funded status of the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) dropped to 56% in the last fiscal year, down from 64% the previous year.
TRS blamed the fall on investment declines, asset sales required to pay benefits during the fiscal year, and continued state underfunding.
However, it said the benefits of current TRS members were protected by the state and US constitutions from being reduced in any fashion, regardless of investment performance.
It said: “TRS’s long-term performance remains strong and continues to rank among the nation’s top pension funds. The TRS Board of Trustees, professional staff and TRS consultants continue to closely monitor and assess the portfolio in order to make prudent, long-term decisions on behalf of its members.”
TRS also announced Lombardia Capital Partners had been awarded a US$25m small cap value domestic equity mandate by the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), as part of the system’s emerging managers programme.
It made a number of private equity commitments, including $50m to GI Partners Fund III, a buyout fund; $50m to Edgewater Growth Equity Partners III, a growth equity fund; and $50m to Blackstone Capital Partners VI, a buyout fund.
In addition, it has made a number of changes to its “watch list”, removing Brandes Investment Partners, which manages US$1.2bn in international equity for TRS, due to recent strong performance.
Asset managers added to its watch list were EARNEST, which manages $182m in large cap value domestic equity for TRS; Fred Alger ($192m in small/mid growth domestic stocks); Neuberger Investment Management, formerly Lehman Brothers Asset Management ($988m in fixed income); Taplin, Canida & Habacht ($502m in active core plus fixed income).