IMRF criticized during pension hearing

One of Illinois’ most healthy public sector pension funds is being blasted by some state Senators from both sides for not doing more to increase the number of minority-, women- and persons with disability-owned money managers.

During a hearing Wednesday, Democratic Senator Iris Martinez took managers of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund to task for not doing more to reach a state-imposed goal of having 20 percent of funds managed by minority owned managers.

“And you can bring in the best team in the world but if they’re not reaching those benchmarks I hope to see people being fired from the CIO to the executive director who are not doing their job.”

Martinez went on to criticize what she said is disappointing minority participation results year-after-year and questioned when funds will take aggressive actions to be accountable in meeting certain goals. Republican Senator Sue Rezin echoed those concerns and said that IMRF being as healthy as the funds are–at 93 percent funded–is in a better position to get more money management firms owned by minorities, women and people with disabilities.

“You have the ability, as you’re growing and as you’re investing and your returns are good and solid, to be increasing these areas for minority- and women-owned investment firms. So I think that’s some of the frustration you are hearing.”

The first of a two-day hearing Wednesday featured several public sector pensions funds relaying how they are working to get 20 percent of the various funds managed by investment firms owned by minorities, women or people with disabilities.

Another hearing took place in Chicago Thursday.

Illinois News Network

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