Texas Teachers’ Hires CalSTRS, Illinois Teachers’ Officials

The two new leaders will develop the fund’s emerging manager programs and administrational functions.

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas has added two new pension veterans to its roster to boost its emerging manager program and internal operations.

Introduced at Friday’s board meeting, Kirk Sims will direct the $153 billion pension plan’s $5.7 billion fledgling manager objective. He will also oversee a $3 billion injection for its Emerging Manager 3.0 Program, which funds innovations among rising investment professionals. The project started in 2005. Sylvia Bell, the pension fund’s chief operating officer, currently runs the portfolio.

Sims comes from the Teacher Retirement System of Illinois ($51.4 billion), where he worked on its $7 billion Minority Investment Program as well as the plan’s $750 million Emerging Manager Program.

Sims will start on March 1 and report to Jase Auby, the fund’s deputy chief investment officer. Bell will step down from her emerging manager responsibilities to better focus on her COO job.

The meeting also saw the hire of Andrew Roth as the fund’s new chief operations and administration officer, who will start in April. Roth replaces 2018 retiree Ken Welch and will report to executive director Brian Guthrie, who said the new head’s “demonstrated leadership ability and fresh perspective” will assist in “valuable contributions from day one.”

Roth is moving halfway across the country as he trades in his sunglasses and board shorts for spurs and a ten-gallon hat. He is exiting another large fund, the $221 billion California State Teachers’ Retirement System.

Roth was the benefits and services executive officer there for four years, and a director of client outreach and guidance for three. He also worked in other California state agencies, such as the departments of public health, business oversight, social services, and the Bureau of State Audits.

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