Chicago Teachers’ Fund Testifies Before U.S. House Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusionby GDN Shared Post July 5, 2019
Testimony highlighted the approach Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund (CTPF) has used to increase opportunities for diverse investment managers over the last 20 years
Chicago, IL — The Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund (CTPF/the Fund) Chief Investment Officer Angela Miller-May testified on behalf of the Fund before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion hearing entitled, “Diverse Asset Managers: Challenges, Solutions and Opportunities for Inclusion,” on Tuesday, June 25, 2019.
The hearing was led by Committee Chairwoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH), and explored the challenges minority- and women-owned firms face trying to compete in the asset management industry, and discussed legislation to increase the use of diverse asset managers by institutional investors.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to opine on the challenges minority, women, and persons with disability (MWDBE) firms face and the importance of including them in the conversation,” stated CTPF Board of Trustees President Jeffery Blackwell. “Since the early 1990s the Fund has been a leader in this area — prioritizing these investments and relationships.”
The testimony highlighted the approach the CTPF has used to increase opportunities for diverse managers over the last 20 years. The Illinois Pension Code requires an aspirational goal of “not less than 20% of investment advisors shall be minorities, women, and persons with disabilities.” CTPF has far exceeded that goal by investing 44% or $4.6 billion of total assets with MWDBE-owned firms as of March 31, 2019.
A breakout of the $4.6 billion includes:
* 58.2% or $2.69B invested with Women-Owned firms
* 25.3% or $1.17B invested with African-American Owned firms
* 12.0% or $555.6M invested with Latino-Owned firms
* 3.3% or $151.0M invested with Asian-American Owned firms
* 0.6% or $25.9M invested with Persons with Disability-Owned firms
* 0.3% or $9.7M invested with Multiple Minority Owned firms
The testimony also offered the opportunity to highlight the key practices that CTPF has used to increase opportunities for diverse managers including:
* Securing the commitment of Illinois legislators, CTPF trustees, and senior management, which has made diversity and inclusion a part of the Fund’s culture.
* Removing barriers by drafting request for proposals with open and inclusive language, ensuring that qualified diverse managers will be included as finalists in our manager searches.
* Implementing policies and systematically making it the responsibility of every CTPF investment professional and every CTPF employee to be inclusive and encourage diversity.
* Tracking our performance in reference to our policy goals to identify areas where improvement is needed and by tracking the performance of diverse managers.
* Establishing a process of outreach by having an open door policy, by engaging with organizations that promote diversity to help identify qualified diverse managers and build long-term relationships.
Others witnesses included Juan Martinez, Vice President/Chief Executive Officer and Treasurer, Knight Foundation; John Rogers, Chairman, CEO & Chief Investment Officer, Ariel Investments; Brenda Chia, Founding Board Member & Co-Chair, Association of Asian American Investment Managers; and Meredith Jones, Investment researcher and Author.
About Jeffery Blackwell, President, CTPF Board of Trustees
Jeffery Blackwell serves as President of the CTPF Board of Trustees. Elected to represent Teachers in 2010, and re-elected in 2013 and 2016, he has chaired the Committee on Claims and Service Credits and the Policy Committee, and served on the Disability, Health Insurance, Investments, Pension Law and Administrative Rules, Communications, and Technology Committees. A 20-year veteran of the Chicago Public Schools, he currently works with students with special needs and established a student mentoring program. An active member and delegate of the Chicago Teachers Union, he has served on the Executive Board and Pension Committee, and as a delegate to the American Federation of Labor and Illinois Federation of Labor Conventions. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Education, a Master of Science in Special Education, and a Master of Arts in General Administration from Chicago State University.
About Angela Miller-May, CIO, CTPF
Angela Miller-May, Chief Investment Officer, Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund, manages and directs the operations of the Fund’s investment portfolio, providing ongoing performance evaluation and due diligence. Under her leadership, she has increased the investment of total assets with Minority, Women and Persons with Disabilities owned managers from 33% to 44%, positioning CTPF as a leader among U.S. pension plans in the encouragement of Diversity and Inclusion. Her responsibilities include reviewing asset allocations, developing investment strategies, evaluating and recommending investment opportunities, analyzing valuation and risk metrics, and ensuring compliance. Miller-May has acted in several progressively responsible positions at CTPF including Director of Investments, Portfolio Manager-Alternative Investments, and Investment Operations Analyst-Risk Management. Miller-May serves on the NASP (National Association of Securities Professionals) Africa Advisory Board, NCPERS (National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems) CIO Advisory Board, Saint Ignatius College Prep Investment Committee, and participates in several other organizations which work to encourage Diversity and Inclusion. Prior to joining CTPF, Miller-May worked for over 13 years in the banking industry, managing check operations for Fiserv, Inc., and the Northern Trust Company. Miller-May earned her M.B.A in Accounting from DePaul University and her B.A. in Economics from Northwestern University.
Established by the Illinois state legislature in 1895, the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund manages members’ assets and administers benefits. The $11.1 billion pension fund serves more than 87,000 members and provides pension and health insurance benefits to more than 28,500 beneficiaries.