Altius to advise CalSTRS on alternative investments

The Californian teachers pension fund has appointed Altius Associates to advise the fund on its international alternative investment partnerships.

The California State Teachers' Retirement System has selected Altius Associates as its advisor when expanding its international alternative investment portfolio. London-based Altius Associates will recommend non-US partnerships, perform due diligence and assist and advise CalSTRS staff on investment opportunities in Canada, the United Kingdom and Continental Europe.

The international segment of CalSTRS' alternative investment portfolio currently has a market value of $585m with committed values of $1.4bn. Last October, the CalSTRS Investment Committee increased the alternative investment asset allocation from 5 to 8 per cent. The fund estimates that the alternative investment portfolio will grow to $11bn by 2006, with the international portion expected to reach $1.7bn. 

Altius Associates was selected to replace Pathway Capital Management whose mandate expired this year. CalSTRS is planning to appoint advisors to oversee its US partnerships later this summer. In June CalSTRS named McKinsey & Company as alternative investment consultant to its Investment Committee.

Real Desrochers, CalSTRS director of alternative investments, said that Altium was appointed for its hands-on approach and international experience. Altium has offices in London, Copenhagen, and Virginia.

CalSTRS administers retirement, disability and survivor benefits for California's public school educators across all age groups, serving approximately 687,000 members and benefit recipients.

The firm’s total commitment to alternative investments (both US and international) stands at $4.4bn with committed values of $8.8bn within CalSTRS' $100bn investment portfolio. The fund reports that its alternative investment portfolio has generated a 20.4 per cent compounded annual rate of return since its inception in 1988.