Texas Teachers, 6th Biggest Pension in U.S., Names New Chief

Brian Guthrie
Brian Guthrie

Texas’s $105 billion Teacher Retirement System, America’s sixth largest pension fund and a big friend of private equity, on Monday named Brian Guthrie, 41, as its new executive director. He will replace current head Ronnie Jung on September 1st, who announced last year that he intended to step down from the role. Jung had been TRS’s executive director since 2004.

Guthrie comes to the top job after having served as TRS’s deputy director since 2008.

Currently, TRS’s private equity target is 8 percent of invested assets. As of Aug. 31, 2010, TRS had $8.6 billion invested in private equity, or roughly 9 percent of its then $95 billion portfolio. As the fund has risen in value to $105 billion, TRS’s private equity investments are likely to be a bit higher than their level last August.

TRS is the main pension fund for public school and college educators in the state. More than 1.3 million people are members of the fund, including 296,000 active pensioners.

The chairman of the board of trustees, David Kelly, said in a prepared statement that Guthrie’s background in a variety of government roles will be an asset as head of TRS. “Brian’s recent achievements in the areas of pension administration and enterprise technology uniquely qualify him to lead the agency forward,” he said.