Illinois appoints new alternative investments officer

The Teachers’ Retirement System of Illinois, a $39.7 billion pension fund, has chosen a new senior alternative investments officer from within its ranks.

Lamar Villere will manage the private equity and absolute return portfolios. He has led the domestic equities team since 2005 for the Springfield, Ill.-based pension fund, and prior to that was an equity analyst at Morgan Keegan & Co.

Last week, as PE Week went to press, TRS Illinois’ investment committee was scheduled to discuss a number of issues, including whether to commit several hundred million dollars to a handful of private equity funds and whether Pacific Corporate Group will retain the pension fund’s advisory contract. The TRS Illinois board of trustees was set to vote on the matters on May 18.

TRS Illinois had $3.5 billion committed to private equity at the end of the first quarter, split among LBO, venture, distressed and mezzanine funds. —Mark Cecil