Texas Teachers’ London chief departs

Vaughn Brock, who launched the US pension’s first and only international office last September, has been replaced by its senior director of private equity.

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) has started 2016 by reshuffling the management of its first overseas outpost.

Vaughn Brock, who set up TRS’ London office last year and oversaw all its operations, left the US pension at the beginning of the year, according to a farewell note he sent to Private Equity International's sister title Infrastructure Investor. A spokesperson at TRS later confirmed his departure by email.

No reason was given for the stepping-down, with neither Brock nor TRS responding to a request for comment on the question.

Brock has now been replaced by Allen MacDonell, previously the senior director of private equity for TRS. The spokesperson, probed on the move’s rationale, noted that the leadership change does not reflect a change in investment strategy.

The institution launched its UK office, its first and only international base, last September. It aimed to leverage its European presence to increase investment deal flow with a focus on co-investments, it said in a statement following the launch.

“By opening a London office, we will redeploy existing resources so they are closer to where the action is. This will also help us reduce unnecessary travel back and forth from Austin,” said TRS executive director Brian Guthrie then.

“Even though our London presence will be small – only three people – we’ll be ready to hit the ground running to identify new investment opportunities in real time.”

The fund, with assets under management of $134 billion, has a target allocation of 13 percent to private equity. Among its recent commitments, in September, it invested $400 million in Red River Direct Investment Fund III, according to PEI Research & Analytics.