2016 Capital Allocators Roadshow Kicks Off in Chicago

The NAIC Capital Allocators Roadshows have kicked off for 2016, beginning February 4th and 5th in the Chicago area. Over the two days, NAIC members met with Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF), Exelon, Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), Illinois State Board of Investment (ISBI), Illinois State Universities Retirement System (SURS), and Muller & Monroe. The meetings provided an opportunity for each institutional investor to share information about their program while getting to know NAIC members and other participating LPs better.

The Roadshow commenced with a meeting hosted by Exelon that included Doug Brown, CIO; Chrissie Pariso, Senior Portfolio Manager in Private Equity; Neil Roache, Senior Portfolio Manager of Private Markets; and Brian Andersen, Public Markets & NDT Investments. The team provided an overview of Exelon and its $34 billion pension plan. Exelon currently has 35 funds across its private equity portfolio, with seven minority managers.

Following the Exelon meeting, the Roadshow traveled to Oak Brook for a meeting with six of the 14 members of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) investment team, which included Dhvani Shah, CIO; Rosa Vasquez, Investment Officer, Emerging Manager Program and Total Portfolio; Luke Kukulka, Associate Investment Analyst, Emerging Manager Program; Robert Talaga, Investment Analyst in Private Equity and Real Estate, Karen Seplak, Investment Officer in Public Markets; and Giselle Orlando, Investment Analyst in Public Markets.

The second day of meetings on February 5th began with a morning session at Muller & Monroe, with presentations by André Rice and Rendel Solomon from Muller & Monroe, Andrew Kelsen, Portfolio Manager of Alternatives from Chicago Teachers (CTPF) and Johara Farhadieh, Portfolio Manager, Emerging and Minority, from Illinois State Board of Investment (ISBI). Muller & Monroe currently manages almost $700 million of capital, with more that 60% of that allocated to minority funds. Muller & Monroe has one slot remaining to allocate from their New York Common commitment and is working to close large commitments in progress from two public pension state plans, which should take its AUM over $1 billion.

Following the NAIC presentation and firm introductions by each attending member, Andrew Kelsen provided an overview of the CTPF fund, a $10.5 billion pension fund. CTPF currently has 26 direct relationships with MWDBE firms, one majority RE FOF relationship, and one minority PE FOF relationship. Kelsen encouraged NAIC members to participate in CTPF’s First Friday process, where 12-15 managers present to the majority of the investment staff, 2-5 trustees and the consultants, who must attend each session. He shared that half of the managers who have received allocations have participated in one of the First Fridays.

Johara Farhadieh then provided an overview of ISBI, which manages the state employees’ pensions and currently has $19 billion in AUM ($15 billion in the DB plan). Johara Farhadieh oversees the emerging managers’ committee, led by Senator Clayborne, and the DC plan. The majority of ISBI’s emerging managers have been in the public space to date, with 10% of the fund allocated to emerging manager funds (if committed capital is included, the majority of that is with PE funds). ISBI has made direct investments to emerging managers across PE, RE, and hedge funds.

The final meeting was with State Universities Retirement System of Illinois ($16 billion in AUM). CIO/Executive Director Bryan Lewis provided an overview of SURS and its investment portfolio, which was followed by an introduction to NAIC and firm overviews by each attending member. He asked very insightful questions on topics including investment returns, manager products, and assistance in finding qualified managers for RFPs and noted that Illinois SURS is planning broader allocations to diverse managers.

The next stop for the Capital Allocators Roadshow will be Los Angeles in April. We hope to see you there!