Calstrs issues first diversity report

Calstrs issues first diversity report

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (Calstrs) submitted its first report to the California Legislature outlining progress in bringing emerging managers into the stewardship of its investments.

The report, Diversity in The Management of Investments 2014 Progress Report is a requirement under Senate Bill 294, which became law in 2011. The report also reflects Calstrs’ strategic goal since 2003 to bring greater diversity to its external investment management.

“Reflecting the philosophy of inclusion ingrained in the work and the ranks of California’s educators, Calstrs seeks to increase the participation of emerging investment managers, while enhancing returns at a prudent level of risk,” said Calstrs Chief Investment Officer Christopher J. Ailman. “That diversity mindset extends to our 108-strong Calstrs investment staff, comprising wide-ranging backgrounds and experience.”

Calstrs’ strategic goals on diversity fall into three broad categories: Calstrs investment staff; the challenges identified in the “four pillars” of real estate, corporate governance, global equity and brokerage services; and Calstrs’ foundation of existing programs.

The four pillars—real estate, corporate governance, global equity and brokerage services—present some of the toughest challenges to incorporating diversity in the management of investments across the Calstrs portfolio.

Calstrs focuses on meeting four goals. They are: increase the diversity of real estate external managers handling Calstrs funds; increase the diversity of corporate boards of directors; develop a direct relationship program with equity managers to move managers from the Calstrs developing manager program to Calstrs’ core portfolio; and increase the diversity of firms providing brokerage services to Calstrs.

“However we approach our goals, we keep in mind the Calstrs core value of strength, which says, “We ensure the strength of our system by embracing the diversity of ideas and people,” Ailman said. “It’s why we continue to be recognized as an industry leader. We don’t rest on our laurels, and developing new, diverse and talented asset managers is a key part of our strategic plan.”