Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund Remains Leader among Pension Funds in Minority, Women and Disabled-Owned Business Enterprise Efforts

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The Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund (CTPF) announced that it invested $4.98 billion, more than 46 percent of total fund assets, with Minority, Women and Disabled-Owned Business Enterprise (MWDBE) firms in fiscal year 2020, ending June 30, 2020. This represents a 3.6 percent increase over 2019 investments. The Fund's work was highlighted during December 4, 2020, testimony presented to state legislators at an Illinois Senate Special Committee hearing on Pensions and Investments held virtually.

"Our total fund MWDBE assets have increased 654 percent since we first started tracking this data in the early 1990s. Our increase in MWDBE investments this past year demonstrates our continued commitment to supporting diverse investments. These investments pay dividends for our members and yields excellent overall long-term returns and financial stability for our members," said Jeffery Blackwell, President of the CTPF Board of Trustees.   

A breakdown of assets by classification as of June 30, 2020, includes $2.88 billion managed by women-owned firms; $1.13 billion managed by African American-owned firms; $794.5 million managed by Latino-owned firms; $99.1 million managed by Asian-American owned firms, $16.4 million managed by Persons with a Disability-owned firms, $10.1 million managed by Native-American firms, and $4.3 million managed by Multiple Minority-owned firms.

CTPF has seen dramatic growth in MWDBE investments since the early 1990s when commitment to diversity within its portfolio was first formalized. The Fund invested 6.1 percent of assets in MWDBE-owned funds in 1996, and today the total investment has grown to 46%. Annually since 2007, the Fund has exceeded the goal of investing 20% of Fund assets with MWDBE firms.   

CTPF invests in emerging managers through direct mandates and Manager-of-Managers programs (MoMs). CTPF has direct relationships with 36 MWDBE firms, with 65 funds. The Fund has MoMs relationships with 21 MWDBE firms via 14 investment strategies. Managers who perform well under the MoMs program may graduate to direct mandates with the Fund. Since the program's inception, eight firms have graduated to direct mandates.  

The recently submitted report is required by a 2009 Illinois law, PA 96-0006, encouraging the trustees of public pension funds to use emerging investment managers in managing their systems' assets. A copy of CTPF's 2020 Diversity report is available at www.ctpf.org/financial-investment-reports

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