The Illinois Teachers' Retirement System, Springfield, improved its funded status to 62% as of June 30, up from 60.8% the prior year, according to a fiscal year-end actuarial report from Buck Consultants. The $36.5 billion fund returned 12.2% gross of fees for the year, beating its 11.3% benchmark, according to a news release. Jon Bauman, executive director, said in the release that the improvement in the funded ratio came from investment returns despite a $524 million reduction in pension contributions from the state of Illinois.
TRS trustees, at their Nov. 2-3 board meeting, authorized a search for an international equity manager. No details were available about the timing of an RFP. The size of the portfolio and source of funding will be determined pending results of an asset allocation study that investment consultant R.V. Kuhns will present to the board at its Dec. 7-8 meeting.
Trustees at the meeting also reviewed two finalists for active domestic large-cap growth equities — T. Rowe Price and Wellington Management — and considered AQR Capital for an active domestic small-cap to midcap value portfolio; Eva Goltermann, public information officer, declined to give details. In May, the TRS board terminated Ariel Capital Management for performance of a $215 million portfolio managed in the same asset class.
Trustees postponed consideration of J.C. Flowers for a private equity assignment until the board's December meeting, Ms. Goltermann said, declining to provide details.
TRS rehired Callan Associates as its dedicated real estate consultant for a three-year term. The fund replaced Callan as general consultant with R.V. Kuhns earlier this year, Ms. Goltermann said.