Texas TRS interim CIO appointed permanently to post

The new CIO has been with the pension system for more than 20 years. 

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas has promoted within its ranks to replace departed chief investment officer Thomas Harris, the pension fund said on Thursday.

The Austin, Texas-based retirement plan, which manages more than $140 billion, said it has appointed interim CIO Jerry Albright to the position full-time. He joined TRS in 1994 and most recently held the positions of TRS Investment Division’s chief operating officer and director of investments. He has also served as chairman of the TRS Internal Investment Committee and as the director of TRICOT London, which is TRS’s first overseas outpost.

“Jerry has gained an international reputation as someone who understands the quickly changing landscape of the investment industry and how to stay ahead of the curve,” TRS Board Member and Investment Committee chairman Joe Colonnetta said in the statement.

Harris stepped down in June after more than a decade at TRS to become chief executive officer and CIO at University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Management Company, the endowment programme for the UT and UT A&M university systems. He will start his position 1 August.

According to PDI data, recent TRS private debt commitments include a $300 million commitment to Lone Star Fund X – a $5.6 billion distressed corporate and real estate debt fund managed by Dallas-based Lone Star Funds, and $200 million to GSO Capital Opportunities Fund III – a $6.5 billion mezzanine fund managed by Blackstone’s credit arm, GSO Capital Partners.

TRS houses its credit and special situations investments in its private equity bucket, which make up 13.1 percent of that category. Total private equity investments make up 12.3 percent of its portfolio.