US - The US$129bn California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) has appointed consulting firm Altura Capital to assist in finding new investment opportunities that will incorporate "diversity of ideas and people" in the management of its investments.
CalSTRS said the New York-based firm’s work for the fund would include research and development of database of emerging financial services providers as well as investment strategy assessment and recommendations for policy changes.
“This effort will expand and capitalise on diversity and demographic trends,” said Christopher Ailman, CIO of CalSTRS. “We will be looking at diversity in a measured, comprehensive manner - the same way we make investment decisions and select investment partners. Diversity in the management of investments is another key strategic business component in securing the financial future of California’s educators.”
The initiative aims to incorporate “diversity of people and ideas throughout the investment portfolio”, CalSTRS said. The fund currently has more than US$2.5bn managed by nineteen minority firms in its domestic stock portfolio and US$35m in its alternative investment portfolio.
“The change in California demographics sets a new standard on how matters of diversity are addressed by well-run organisations,” said Jack Ehnes (pictured), chief executive officer of CalSTRS. “The trend of rapidly growing ethnic communities... identified by many and harnessed by few, creates an enormous opportunity that can translate into valuable and attractive products for the investment community.”
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