Illinois Teachers’ Names New Leader for Emerging Manager Program

‘Invaluable’ Jose Gonzalez succeeds Kirk Sims, who left for the Texas Teachers’ Retirement System.

Jose Gonzalez

The Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System has promoted Jose Gonzalez to lead its $750 million emerging manager program.

Established in 2005, the emerging manager program identifies and seeds fledgling money managers, which pension funds such as the Texas Employees Retirement System have been working on in the past several years. The Illinois Teachers’ division currently has 18 firms that manage a combined $500.6 million across all asset classes.

“My goal is to help these emerging firms create a win-win situation,” Gonzalez said. “They can help TRS enhance its portfolio on behalf of our members, and we can help them grow and prosper in the marketplace.”

Many of the program’s managers are women and minority-owned businesses, the fund said. Last year, $20.7 billion, or 20% of the retirement system’s assets were managed by women and minority-owned firms, according to a news release.

“We have a strong commitment to diverse and emerging managers, especially minority, women, disabled, and veteran-owned firms,” said Executive Director Dick Ingram, who called Gonzalez’ experience “invaluable” to the organization.

Gonzalez replaces Kirk Sims, who left the fund in February to run the Texas Teachers’ Retirement System’s emerging manager program.

Gonzalez has been with the $51.1 billion fund since 2015 as a senior analyst for global bonds and real assets, his LinkedIn profile shows. He had previously been director of investments and e-pay operations for the Illinois State Treasurer.

“He understand[s] the capabilities and needs of emerging managers and how they can best fit into our investment strategy,” Illinois Teachers’ Chief Investment Officer Stan Rupnik said.


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