LP corner, week of Aug. 3, 2009

Illinois Teachers taps Doehla to head PE program

The $30 billion Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois has selected Zachary Doehla to serve as its alternative investments officer.

Doehla will oversee the private equity portfolio starting on Aug. 17.

He replaces Lamar Villere, formerly the senior alternative investments officer, who left in February to helm the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System’s private equity program.

Doehla previously served as associate director at Orix USA Corp., director at Bridge Finance Group and senior financial consultant at Manor Care Inc.

A new asset allocation plan approved in May increased the state pension fund’s long-term target for private equity to 10% from 8 percent. As of May 31, Illinois TRS had $2.5 billion invested in private equity, roughly 8% of the fund’s total assets. —Nancy Gordon

OPERS names Shafer interim CIO

The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System has appointed Richard Shafer as its interim chief investment officer. Shafer had been serving since May as the pension fund’s deputy director of investments.

The former CIO, Jennifer Hom, resigned on June 4 for personal reasons. Hom joined the pension fund in 2002 as the system’s fixed income portfolio manager and was named CIO in 2005.

Shafer joined the pension fund in late May as deputy director of investments, with primary responsibility for the development and execution of the investment strategies for private equity and real estate. Previously, Shafer was the director of investments for the New Hampshire Retirement System and the CIO of Alaska Permanent Fund Corp.

With assets of $60.5 billion, OPERS is the largest public pension fund in Ohio and the 12th largest U.S. public pension fund.

Almost 80% of its private equity portfolio is committed to buyout funds, with the rest earmarked for venture capital and special situations. —Nancy Gordon