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TRS Honored for Its Commitment to Diversity in the Investment World

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SPRINGFIELD, IL – Teachers’ Retirement System is being honored for its strong, on-going commitment to nurturing minority-owned emerging investment managers across the country.

TRS has received the 2016 Stand-Out Institutional Investor Award, given annually during the annual Consortium EAST investment forum to “an institutional investor…for their unwavering commitment to the growth and success of the emerging manager space.”

The Stand-Out Institutional Investor Award was announced in June during the 13th annual Consortium EAST in New York, New York.

“We are very humbled and tremendously pleased to receive this award,” said TRS Executive Director Dick Ingram. “This recognition is a testament to the hard work of the TRS Investment Department in identifying and developing emerging managers; and to the strong belief of our Board of Trustees that fostering diversity and strengthening emerging businesses is the key to the future.”

Renae Griffin, chief executive officer of RG+associates, which hosts the Consortium EAST conference each year to bring together emerging managers and institutional investors from the public and private sectors, praised TRS for its continued focus on the development of emerging managers.

“They meet with managers, speak at conferences, and ensure their fund implements sound strategies to grow their emerging manager portfolios,” Griffin said. “They serve as champions in their interactions with small and diverse managers and their LP peers.”

Kirk Sims, TRS investment officer for emerging managers, accepted the award on behalf of the System.

“This honor is a response from the community as to who they feel made an impact in the last year,” Sims said. “We can’t provide funds for investment to every emerging manager, but we try to give as much advice as we can to everyone about what they need to do to take the next step. It’s about nurturing and providing guidance. We’re committed to that.”

Through the end of March, 2016, TRS had $7.44 billion in assets invested with or administered by money management firms owned by women or minorities. This total represented 16.98 percent of all TRS assets under management. For fiscal year 2016, TRS had set a goal of having 16 percent of assets under the management of WMBE firms. In the equity markets, total investment commissions to WMBE companies totaled $1.81 million, or 20.5 percent of all commissions paid to equity managers.

“TRS reviews its WMBE targets periodically and next year our commitment to women and minority-owned firms will continue to rise over time,” Ingram said. “We also strongly monitor the activities of the money managers we contract with to make sure that they are engaging WMBE brokers. We seek out productive partnerships and relationships that have similar values.”

About Teachers’ Retirement System

The Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois is the 37th largest pension system in the United States, and provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits to teachers, administrators and other public school personnel employed outside of Chicago. The System serves 400,598 members and had assets of $43.8 billion as of March 31, 2016.

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