Officials at the $33.5 billion Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System, Springfield, are mulling options for replacing Kent Custer, senior investment officer-global equities.
Mr. Custer has oversight of the investment of the fund’s domestic and international equity portfolios, which totaled $8.3 billion and $6.3 billion, respectively, as of Sept. 30. The system’s $1.5 billion hedge fund portfolio also is under Mr. Custer’s supervision.
On Dec. 27, Mr. Custer will become chief investment officer of $1.1 billion 529 prepaid college tuition plan, College Illinois, run by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, Chicago, confirmed John Samuels, an ISAC spokesman, in an interview.
Mr. Custer replaces Frank Bello, who left July 26 to become a director and chief credit officer for the commission’s student loan servicing unit.
“TRS leaders will be meeting over the next few days to determine the system’s next steps in regard to Kent’s departure. He has been a very valuable member of the staff and we wish him well in his new position,” wrote David Urbanek, an Illinois Teachers spokesman, in an e-mail.
In his position at ISAC, Mr. Custer will review the asset allocation and investment management of the 529 plan with the assistance of Callan Associates. Callan was just hired as the plan’s investment consultant, subject to contract negotiations, to replace Marquette Associates, Mr. Samuels said in an e-mail.
“Mr. Custer brings extensive experience and knowledge to address the challenges facing the College Illinois program,” said John Sinsheimer, ISAC’s interim executive director, in a statement.
Steve Daniels contributed to this story. He is a reporter for Crain’s Chicago Business, a sister publication of Pensions & Investments.