Texas TRS Announces New Deputy CIO

November 14, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Teacher Retirement System of Texas has promoted Lee Partridge from managing director of strategic research and risk management to deputy chief investment officer.

A Markets Media Online news report said Partridge, a chartered financial analyst and chartered alternative investment analyst, will be responsible for strategic research, risk management, external managers, hedge funds, and trading. Prior to joining TRS, Partridge focused on fixed income portfolio and risk management in the private sector.

In addition, Steven LeBlanc joined TRS as senior managing director of private markets from real estate investment trust Summit Properties. LeBlanc will oversee real assets, private equity and principle investments portfolios at TRS, according to the news report.

Dr. Nigel D. Lewis will replace Partidge as managing director of strategic research and risk management, responsible strategic research, asset allocation, risk analysis, fund surveillance and portfolio construction. He previously worked at Principle Global Investors and managed strategy and risk for all asset classes.

Market Media Online said TRS changed its investment policy less than a year ago. In February 2007, CIO Britton Harris pushed for a more aggressive investment strategy that involved funneling more of its $107 billion in assets to into hedge funds and private equity investments, hiring more money managers, and increasing investment staff (See Texas’ Harris Urges Pension Trustees to Up Investments in Hedge Funds, Private Equity ).

Last December, TRS trustees approved an Iran/Sudan-linked divestiture policy that calls for dropping investments only if “comparable investments offering similar quality, return and safety are available.” (See Texas Fund Divestiture Policy Includes Caveat ).