Illinois TRS hires consultant

The Board of Trustees of the Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois named a new investment consultant at its February meeting. The Illinois TRS board named Portland, Ore.-based R.V. Kuhns & Associates as its general investment consultant. R.V. Kuhns will provide the pension system with asset allocation studies, investment manager research, performance reporting and other services. The firm replaces Callan Associates, whose contract expired at the end of December.

The board also received a report on the fund’s performance for 2005 and made new commitments totaling $260 million in four private equity funds:

* Illinois TRS committed $100 million to Madison Dearborn Partners’ new buyout fund, Madison Dearborn Capital Partners V. The fund has a target of $5 billion and expects to hold a final close in April with $6.5 billion. The Chicago-based buyout firm raised more than $4 billion for Madison Dearborn Capital Partners IV. Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System and the New York State Teachers Retirement System are also limited partners in fund V.

* The board allocated $90 million to The Carlyle Group’s Carlyle/Riverstone Global Energy & Power Fund III. The buyout fund has secured about $1.45 billion in LP commitments, according to a regulatory filing. The fund has a reported target of $2.5 billion and a cap of $3.5 billion.

* The board agreed to invest $50 million in Energy Capital Partners, a private equity fund that invests in buyout deals on the energy market.

* Illinois TRS approved a $20 million investment in Belvedere Capital Partners’ new fund, Belvedere Capital Fund II. The fund is a buyout fund focused on banks, financial institutions and financial services.

The board also received a report on the fund’s performance for 2005. Total assets set a new record, reaching $35.4 billion.