Illinois Teachers post 18 percent portfolio return

The pension system allocated $200 million to private equity over FY14

The Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois is up 18 percent for fiscal year 2014 – a result that exceeded internal custom benchmarks set for the $45.3 billion portfolio, according to meeting documents released late yesterday.

Total TRS assets on June 30, at the end of fiscal year 2014, were 14.9 percent higher from one year ago at the end of fiscal year 2013, when the total was $39.4 billion. Fiscal year 2014 is the ninth time that portfolio returns have exceeded internal long-term rate of return assumptions.

Over the year the system committed $200 million to private equity. Those investments included $100 million to Baring Private Equity Asia Group of Hong Kong and $100 million to Natural Gas Partners of Irving, Texas.

Currently, Baring Asia administers $44 million in TRS assets and NGP administers $89.5 million. The system maintains a $4.8 billion private equity portfolio.

“The 30-year rate-of-return for TRS at the end of FY 2014 was 10 percent per year on average,” TRS executive director Dick Ingram said in a statement. “Our assumed return rate of 8 percent last year also is a 30-year expectation. TRS investments over time are more than right on target.”

The Board of Trustees also announced the reappointment of Trustee Marcia Campbell of O’Fallon by Governor Pat Quinn to a new four-year term, as well as the resignation of Trustee Enrique M. Vasquez of Cary. In a letter to the Board, Trustee Vasquez said he found it difficult to fulfill the time requirements of the position, due to other commitments. Governor Quinn appointed trustee Vasquez in September of 2012. TRS now has two open seats on the 13-member Board.