CalSTRS Recognized for Commitment to Diversity
CalSTRS effort benefiting women and minorities in securities earns a national award.

News release

 SACRAMENTO, CA  – California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) today was recognized for its commitment to involving women and minorities in the securities industry by the National Association of Securities Professionals.

NASP gave its 2008 “Pacesetter Award” to CalSTRS for supporting research and developing programs that improve diversity in the management of investments. The prize has been presented since 1996 to individuals or organizations that embody those values promoted by NASP.

“We at CalSTRS are proud to be acknowledged for our efforts and commitment to diversity in the securities industry and for the recognition that diversity is the natural product of a meticulous search for excellence,” said CalSTRS Chief Investment Officer Christopher J. Ailman.

NASP based its award in large part on CalSTRS’ funding of the first of its kind 2003 research brief, “A Review of Developing Managers and Developing Manager Programs,” conducted by Pension Consulting Alliance.

In a statement, NASP called the study “groundbreaking” and stated the study is “responsible for the criteria of the emerging manager program used today as a framework for many pension funds to select woman and minority-owned investment advisors.”

Leadership in Diversity

At CalSTRS, leadership in diversity goes well beyond the 2003 research brief.

  • 1989: CalSTRS makes its first commitment to emerging managers in the public equities asset class
  • 2002: CalSTRS creates the New and Next Generation Investment Program and the Capital Access Program in private equity, focusing on opportunities in California
  • 2004: CalSTRS launches real estate emerging manager and urban revitalization programs that, to date, total $667 million
  • 2005: CalSTRS embarks on a proactive strategy to diversify investment management across all asset classes
  • 2005: CalSTRS sponsors a five-year diversity survey of the securities industry to measure attitudes toward women and minorities
  • 2006: CalSTRS sponsors an emerging manager database, unveiled in 2007, and that currently includes more than 1,000 firms – another first of its kind

“Our leadership in this area would not be possible without the insight and dedication of Investment Branch executives Elleen Okada, Solange Brooks, Michelle Cunningham and Trish Taniguchi,” Ailman added.

CalSTRS has implemented emerging manager programs totaling about $3.9 billion in:

  • U.S. Equities, totaling $1.8 billion
  • Private Equity, totaling about $1 billion
  • Fixed Income, totaling about $400 million
  • Real Estate, totaling about $667 million

In public equities, CalSTRS defines its emerging managers as firms with less than $2 billion under management. This category is well represented by minority and woman-owned firms. In private equity, emerging funds are first, second or third-time institutional funds. CalSTRS cannot use gender or ethnicity as a guideline to select firms.

The NASP award was presented to CalSTRS officials at a luncheon today at the Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The organization helps people of color and women level the playing field in the financial securities industry. NASP was founded in 1985 by the late Maynard Jackson, former mayor of Atlanta.

Established 95 years ago, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, with a $164 billion portfolio, is the second-largest public pension fund in the United States. It administers retirement, disability and survivor benefits for California’s 813,000 public school educators and their families from the state’s 1,400 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts.