Tennessee Pension Fund names private-equity investment director

By Milt Capps Updated 1:25 p.m.

Tennessee Pension Fund names private-equity investment director | TCRS, Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, private equity, venture capital, Lamar Villere, David Lillard

Lamar Villere in 2007 TRS photo

The Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) today announced its selection of Lamar Villere to lead TCRS' newly authorized private-equity investment program.

Villere, who holds an MBA from Vanderbilt's Owen Graduate School of Management, will, according to TCRS, "be in charge of implementing a target allocation to private equity of 3 percent of TCRS assets, which equates to approximately $800 million," at this time.

The news of Villere's appointment follows a recent changeover at the Office of the Treasurer, where David Lillard now commands, the General Assembly having named him successor to Dale Sims.

In addition, Villere's actions will be closely watched by the state's venture-capital community, which has repeatedly voiced concerns about being left out of the TCRS roster of fund managers.

TCRS said in a release that Villere was previously the senior alternative investments officer for the $39.7 billion Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois (TRS).  There, said TCRS, he oversaw both the private equity and absolute return portfolios.

Villere was TRS' domestic equities investment officer, 2005-2007.  Earlier, he was a vice president and equity analyst at Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc., as well as a financial analyst at both HCFP Brenner Securities and at Deutsche Asset Management.

In addition to his Owen GSM master's, Villere holds a bachelor’s from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va., He is a Chartered Financial Analyst.