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CalSTRS hires private equity investment officer

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System has hired Rob Ross, former TIAA-CREF financial professional.

Rob Ross has joined the California State Teachers’ Retirement System team as an investment officer focused on private equity, according to a spokesperson for the pension fund.

Previously Ross worked in on private equity and alternative investments for Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund. He also has experience at Zurich Insurance and Honeywell Capital Management’s pension, the spokesperson told Private Equity International. 

As the largest teachers’ pension fund in the US, CalSTRS recently reported private equity return rates that underperformed its annual benchmark by more than 4 percent. 

The system posted private equity returns of 13.9 percent and overall investment returns of 13.8. These returns are still higher than the 2012 fiscal year and Margot Wirth, CalSTRS’ director of private equity, told PEI the system doesn’t focus on one-year private equity benchmarks, since it is a longer-term asset class.