CalSTRS News Archive

CalSTRS news archive


Past news articles, reports and other published materials on CalSTRS programs and investments.

Article CIO Review, Commentary by Ashish JainFebruary 10, 2020

How we sharpened our agility with cloud and IT

An essential function of any organization is to periodically evaluate tits IT infrastructure in relation to its business needs, drivers and priorities. CalSTRS has three high-priority business drivers: mitigating operational risks, transforming stakeholder experience and controlling costs. CalSTRS is addressing its highest priorities by implementing a hybrid cloud IT infrastructure model that will provide cost-effective security, agility, usability and flexibility as a critical foundation for fulfilling its enterprise strategies.

Article CNBC, Trading NationFebruary 24, 2020

Coronavirus fears slam stocks—what investors should watch now

Coronavirus chaos reigns.

Stocks fell sharply Monday as the number of coronavirus cases outside of China surged, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average shedding more than 1,000 points intraday and erasing its year-to-date gain.

But as investors fretted over the outbreak’s potential impact on the global economy, market commentators largely agreed that this drop, however vicious, was warranted after months of a seemingly unstoppable rally.

Article Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, BlogJanuary 29, 2020

2019 Sustainability Report

This CalSTRS Sustainability Report provides an overview of the relative data and assessment of the material topics covering July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019, and later into calendar year 2019, where noted. This report has been prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative Standards: Core option.

Article CIO Magazine, Asset AllocationJanuary 10, 2020

CalSTRS rejects fossil fuel divestment

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) has formally rejected calls from environmentalists for divestment of its fossil fuel portfolio.

CalSTRS, in a required environmental report to the California state legislature, said that divesting of the fossil fuel stocks could have a detrimental effect on the teachers’ pension fund.

Article S&P Global Market Intelligence, InterviewJanuary 8, 2020

CalSTRS CIO sounds alarm bells on climate risk; ‘Investors need to wake up’

Christopher Ailman is the outspoken chief investment officer of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the second- largest U.S. pension fund with a $248 billion investment portfolio. CalSTRS is one of the major participants in Climate Action100+, an investor initiative pressing large corporate greenhouse gas emitters to take action on climate change.

Ailman spoke to S&P Global Market Intelligence about CalSTRS’ focus in 2020. The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Article Investment Innovation Institute, NewsDecember 4, 2019

CalSTRS evolves risk mitigation strategy

It has been almost five years since United States asset consultant Pension Consulting Alliance, now called Meketa Investment Group, approached its clients with a new way of managing risk to combat severe equity crises.

Since then, this strategy – sometimes called crisis risk offset or risk mitigation strategy – has faced some real challenges.

Article Bloomberg, MarketsDecember 4, 2019

California pension fund goes green with Muni-bond debut

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System may have just missed its investment goal but its debut municipal-bond sale Thursday is right on target.

The public pension, the second-biggest in the nation, is selling $281 million in tax-exempt municipal green bonds at a time when wealthy Californians are snapping up such debt to drive down their tax bills and when buyers are increasingly seeking investments intended to lessen the impact of climate change. The pension, which posted a 6.8% return shy of its 7% expectation for the year that ended in June, is using the bond proceeds for an expansion of its West Sacramento headquarters designed to meet high environmental standards, including the ability to achieve zero net energy consumption.

Article Institutional Investor, PortfolioNovember 4, 2019

The Reason CalSTRS Paid Less to Invest in 2018

The overall cost of investing for the California State Teachers’ Retirement System has fallen, but not because investment managers have decreased their fees.

This is according to CalSTRS’s annual investment cost report, which was released ahead of the retirement system’s monthly meeting on November 6. The report showed that the total cost of managing the retirement system’s portfolio decreased by six percent year-over-year.

Article The Economist, NewsNovember 14, 2019

Proxy Advisers Come Under Fire

Proxy advisory services used to be an obscure feature of corporate America. No longer. These geeky outfits, which review mountains of proposals put forward by shareholders on topics ranging from mergers and executive pay to climate change and diversity, then issue recommendations, can sway how their clients vote. Given that most are big institutional investors with clout, this advice matters. Earlier this year analysts at Credit Suisse, an investment bank, predicted that proxy advisers’ counsel would decide the fate of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s mammoth $74bn bid for Celgene, a rival drugmaker.

Article Bloomberg TV, “The Close” with Lisa AbramowiczNovember 5, 2019

CalSTRS’ CIO Sees ‘Frothy’ Current Valuations in Real Estate, Long-Term Gains

Christopher Ailman, chief investment officer of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), talks with Bloomberg’s Lisa Abramowicz on “Bloomberg Money Undercover” about the allocation to private assets in pension funds, real estate and hitting return targets. CalSTRS is second largest U.S. public pension fund with assets totaling approximately $242.1 billion, as of September 30.

Article Los Angeles Times, BusinessNovember 24, 2019

‘Their House is on Fire’: The Pension Crisis Sweeping The World

Jan-Pieter Jansen, a 77-year-old retiree from the Netherlands, had high hopes for a worry-free retirement after having saved diligently into a pension during his working life.

But Jansen, a former manager in the metal industry, has been forced to reappraise his plans after receiving notice from his retirement scheme, one of the Netherlands’ biggest industry-sector funds, of plans to cut his pension by up to 10%. Understandably, the news has hit like a sledgehammer.

Article GovCIO Outlook, by Ashish Jain

Challenges on Cloud Migration

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) was established by law in 1913 to provide retirement benefits to California’s public school educators. The market value of the CalSTRS Investment Portfolio was approximately $233.9 billion as of April 30, 2019.

CalSTRS’ Technology Services branch, with over 200 staff, is responsible for operating a portfolio of approximately 135 IT systems/applications related to the pension administration for close to one million benefit recipients. We make over one billion benefit payments per month to these beneficiaries.

Article Investments & Pensions Europe, News)September 17, 2019

Climate Change: PRI Develops ‘Inevitable Policy Response’ Forecast

Investors should be braced for governments to act forcefully but in an uncoordinated fashion on climate change within the next five years, according to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

The organisation last week released major research papers related to modelling the financial impact of what it has called the ‘Investable Policy Response’ (IPR).

Article CIO, Corporate MovesSeptember 27, 2019

National Defined Contribution Group Announces New Leadership

The National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) announced that Sandy Blair, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System’s (CalSTRS) director of retirement readiness, has been selected as its new board president.

The NAGDCA strives to improve the performance of their members to produce more stable retirements for public employees. Members are primarily public sector defined contribution plans.

Article IPE Real Assets, NewsSeptember 2, 2019

CalSTRS to Bump Up Real Estate Allocation by 2%

California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) plans to increase its real estate target allocation from the current 13% to 15% and reduce its allocation to public equity.

CalSTRS said in a document ahead of a board meeting this week that the changes will help improve diversification, enhance portfolio down-side protection and take advantage of the risk-return profile of private assets as outlined in the investor’s ”collaborative model” initiative.

Article Corporate Governance, NewsAugust 26, 2019

Facebook CalSTRS Court Clash

Facebook CalSTRS court clash seeks to reform governance practices. The California Teachers’ Retirement (CalSTRS) Board recently announced it will make a motion to be added as a plaintiff to a pending derivative case against Facebook’s leadership, including CEO/Chairman Mark Zuckerberg in line with the fund’s Corporate Governance Program and Portfolio Policy.

Article West Sac Works, FeatureSummer 2019

Embracing the FUTURE

As CalSTRS begins the new expansion to their flagship building, the organization’s core values became the primary driver for every aspect of its design and use. West Sacramento will now be home to a global leader, setting cutting-edge standards in new fields you’ve probably never even heard of.

NOTE: CalSTRS Headquarters expansion story begins on page 14. The magazine is an outlet of the West Sacramento Chamber of Commerce.