Illinois Commits To K2, Bridgewater

Dec 8 2008 | 1:25am ET

At a time when many pension plans are taking a step back from their alternative portfolios, one is going full steam ahead. The $30 billion Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System has committed a total of $344 million to four hedge and private equity funds.

On the hedge fund front, TRS has increased the mandate held by fund of funds shop K2 Advisors—currently $236 million—to $336 million. In addition, the plan hired Bridgewater Associates to directly manage a $179 million absolute return mandate. Bridgewater currently manages a $506 million global tactical asset allocation mandate within the plan’s real return portfolio. Both mandates will be funded from the plan’s the fixed income portfolio.

TRS has also awarded $15 million to StarVest Partners II, a technology-focused, woman-owned venture capital fund, as part of the TRS Emerging Manager Program, and $50 million commitment to Onex Partners III, a buyout fund. Source of funds will come from cash and passive/enhanced index accounts.

However, the plan is not without its share of redemptions. TRS’ board has ended its relationship with Neuberger Investment Management because of poor performance and organizational concerns, it said. The firm formerly managed $903 million in fixed income, enhanced index assets for TRS.


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