December 14, 2016 16:39 ET

CalSTRS Awarded Best Place to Work in Money Management for Second Time

Pensions & Investments recognized CalSTRS investment team the first time in 2013

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwired - December 14, 2016) - The California State Teachers' Retirement System announced today that it was named by Pensions & Investments as a Best Place to Work in Money Management for 2016.

The fifth-annual survey and recognition program is dedicated to identifying and recognizing the best employers in the money management industry and is presented by Pensions & Investments, a global news source for money management.

"This is the second time CalSTRS has been honored, which is exceptionally meaningful given we are the only plan sponsor/asset owner to receive this award. This recognition again validates our culture, investment philosophy, and especially our outstanding team. We have built a unique workplace within the money management industry and especially within a governmental entity," said CalSTRS Chief Investment Officer Christopher J. Ailman. "We balance the challenges of managing a huge pool of assets in a complex global financial world with those of people's real work/life balance. Our culture provides our team a very positive and popular work environment and that drives our investment performance."

Mr. Ailman adds that the challenge of recruiting and retaining top talent to a global asset owner from within a governmental structure can only be met by providing stimulating work, a close-knit culture and innovative, supportive leadership. The investment team's diverse leadership, more than 80 percent of whom are professional women, contributes to CalSTRS' success.

"Again this year, it is clear that what makes firms great employers isn't necessarily about salaries. Many firms were cited for their culture and benefits," said P&I Editor Amy B. Resnick. "Our surveys found that the employers on the list were much more likely to offer things like flex time, telecommuting, child and elder care, family leave, job sharing and adoption assistance."

"Employees at these top-ranked firms most often cited their colleagues, the firm's culture and the benefits as the things that make it a great place to work," Resnick added.

At CalSTRS, the opportunities for investment professionals continue to grow. The $192.2 billion fund is bringing more asset management in house over the next several years. It is operating an innovation and risk unit that test-drives new investment strategies to minimize volatility risk and diversify the portfolio, and is carrying out an asset allocation shift from a U.S. to a globally-focused portfolio.

"We're in an economic environment where strong investment performance is crucial to the long-term financial security of our nearly 900,000 educators, who depend on us for their retirement income," said Mr. Ailman. "Our educators do not receive Social Security for their CalSTRS-covered employment, so our fund is their safety net."

Pensions & Investments partnered with Best Companies Group, an independent research firm specializing in identifying great places to work, to conduct a two-part survey process of employers and their employees.

The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company's workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. This part of the process comprises approximately 25 percent of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. This part of the process comprised approximately 75 percent of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the top companies.

About CalSTRS

The California State Teachers' Retirement System, with a portfolio valued at $192.2 billion as of October 31, 2016, is the largest educator-only pension fund in the world. CalSTRS administers a hybrid retirement system, consisting of traditional defined benefit, cash balance and voluntary defined contribution plans. CalSTRS also provides disability and survivor benefits. CalSTRS serves California's 896,000 public school educators and their families from the state's 1,700 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts.

See how CalSTRS demonstrates its strong commitment to long-term corporate sustainability principles in its annual Global Reporting Initiative sustainability report: Fostering a Secure Future.

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