SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Teachers’ Retirement System Board of Trustees today named R. Stanley Rupnik, an 18-year veteran of the System, as the new TRS Executive Director / Chief Investment Officer.
Rupnik has served as acting executive director since August of 2020 while retaining his previous role as CIO. He joined TRS from the private sector in April 2003 as director of investments and was named CIO in November of 2004. He previously served TRS as acting executive director between 2009 and 2011. His selection by the Board concludes a nationwide search for a new leader at TRS, which is the 40 th largest public pension system in the United States.
“We as a Board feel very comfortable with the way Stan has managed this wonderful institution,” said TRS Board President Devon Bruce. “You have done a great job in the last year and will continue to do so.”
“I believe strongly in the staff we have at TRS,” Director Rupnik said. “The last year has been extremely challenging for them in a number of ways. Their professionalism and dedication in the face of rapidly changing circumstances has been inspiring. They are the reason I decided to pursue this position on a permanent basis.
“Our mission is vitally important to educators in every part of Illinois as well as to the overall economic health of the state,” he added. “I want to keep moving TRS forward.”
Service to the System’s 427,000 members remains the highest priority. An average of $586 million in benefits is distributed in full and on time every month. Each week, staff handles approximately 2,300 phone calls and 680 emails from members and schedules 160 one-on-one counseling appointments.
In recent months, assets in the TRS Investment Portfolio have reached record levels, taking advantage of a surging national economy that broke free of last year’s COVID-19 downturn. As of May 31, TRS managed assets totaling $62.2 billion – a record for the System and a 23.1 percent increase in assets in the last year. TRS held $50.5 billion at the end of May last year and closed fiscal year 2020 with $52.3 billion.
Through March 31 – the end of the January-March quarter for FY 2021 – the TRS portfolio recorded a positive 16.4 percent investment return, net of fees. For the 12-month period that ended in March, TRS performance was a positive 24.3 percent, net of fees.
In the last five years, the total assets in the TRS portfolio managed by Minority and Women Business Enterprises has creased from $8.2 billion to $14.5 billion. In each of the last five years, TRS has exceeded its annual aspirational goal to have 20 percent of total assets managed by MWBE firms. Currently, TRS commitments to MWBE firms total $14.5 billion, or 24.3 percent of the System’s total $59.5 billion portfolio.
Director Rupnik holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A native of Springfield, he lives in the Capitol City with his wife Kristen and their two daughters.