US - The State of Illinois Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) has expanded its US$500m emerging managers programme to include private equity, real estate, and absolute return investment management firms.
Stan Rupnik, chief investment officer at TRS, said: "There are a number of promising firms to which TRS has had difficulty making commitments because the programme was focused on public market investments.
"Expanding the program will help TRS better utilise young firms, including minority-and-female-owned investment managers, who can ultimately grow into increased mandates within the TRS portfolio."
The board also approved the graduation of Dolan McEniry Capital Management from the emerging managers programme into the main trust fund.
The firm, which had been managing an initial $25m fixed income mandate, was awarded an allocation of $170m from the system's fixed income portfolio.
Other mandates have also been awarded by TRS, with Loomis Sayles & Company hired to manage $675m in long duration fixed income.
American Century Investments will manage a $140m international growth equities mandate, and a $200m international value equities mandate has been awarded to Dimensional Fund Advisors. TRS also committed €25m (US$38.9m) to Avenue Capital Group for investment in the private equity firm's European distressed debt fund.
TRS serves 344,432 members and its assets were valued at $38.7bn as of 31 March.
A number of pension schemes have been prompted to lock in gains with a move into bonds after the estimated deficit across FTSE 100 DB pension schemes improved by £36bn, over the 12 months ending 30 June last year, JLT Employment Benefits found.
HM Treasury has agreed in principle to give NEST a £329m contingent liability guarantee in the event of the master trust's wind up or closure.
AMP Capital has set up a dedicated team to help institutional investors, including pension funds, invest in infrastructure through direct equity allocations.