SPRINGFIELD, IL – Veteran TRS investment staff member Jose Gonzalez has been named by Teachers’ Retirement System to be the investment officer leading the System’s $750 million Emerging Manager Program, which continually identifies and nurtures growing money managers.
The Emerging Manager Program is an integral element of the long-standing TRS commitment to expanding opportunity and diversity within its investment portfolio.
Gonzalez, 50, of Springfield, has served with TRS since 2015 as a senior investment analyst in public investment markets, concentrating on the Global Bonds and Real Return portion of the portfolio.
“Jose not only brings a great deal of experience in the investment world to our diversity initiative, he also knows the goals, needs and operations of TRS,” said Executive Director Dick Ingram. “That’s invaluable. We have a strong commitment to diverse and emerging managers, especially minority, women, disabled and veteran-owned firms. We have every confidence Jose will continue our leadership in this area.”
Prior to joining TRS, Gonzalez served as the director of investment and E-Pay operations for the Illinois State Treasurer, as well as an assistant investment portfolio manager for the Treasurer’s office; and as an assistant commodity broker at the Chicago Board of Trade. He is a 1991 graduate of the University of Illinois with a degree in history and economics.
“We’re excited by the skills and enthusiasm that Jose is bringing to the Emerging Manager Program,” said TRS Chief Investment Officer Stan Rupnik. “He is the right fit for this role. He understand the capabilities and needs of emerging managers and how they can best fit into our investment strategy.”
Currently, the TRS Emerging Manager Program consists of 18 firms that manage a combined $500.6 million of TRS assets across all asset classes. The program was established in 2005. Firms that enhance the performance of the TRS portfolio are able to “graduate” into the System’s main investment fund.
“My goal is to help these emerging firms create a win-win situation,” Gonzalez said. “They can help TRS enhance its portfolio on behalf of our members, and we can help them grow and prosper in the marketplace.”
While the EMP initiative includes firms that are not considered Women-and-Minority-Owned Business Enterprises, many of the EMP participants are WMBE managers. During fiscal year 2018 – the last year full statistics are available – System assets managed by WMBE companies, both in the EMP and the main portfolio, totaled $10.7 billion, or 20 percent of all assets. Over the last five years, assets managed by WMBE firms has averaged $8.2 billion.
About Teachers’ Retirement System
The Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois is the 37th largest pension system in the United States, and provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits to teachers, administrators and other public school personnel employed outside of Chicago. The System serves 417,292 members and had assets of $51.1 billion as of March 31, 2019.