Teachers' Retirement System of Oklahoma Hires Chickasaw Capital Management

Article excerpt

OKLAHOMA CITY - The Teachers' Retirement System of Oklahoma has hired Chickasaw Capital Management to run 5 percent of the program's $9.6 billion in assets in publicly traded master limited partnerships.

The deal is believed to be one of the largest MLP implementations ever by a public pension fund, Chickasaw Vice President Jim Johnstone said.

Johnstone said his Tennessee-based firm has spent several years trying to educate institutional investors on MLPs. It's not a concept that is easily grasped, he said.

"Master limited partnerships haven't been widely used amongst institutional investors such as public pension systems in the past, but they're starting to gain some traction," he said. "A lot of people, when they hear limited partnership, they think private equity. But they trade like any other corporation or stock."

The Teachers' Retirement System began searching for a suitable MLP opportunity in September after discussions with the Gregory W. Group consulting firm in Tulsa, Johnstone said. The decision was part of an overall shift in financial management.

Early last year, the Teachers' Retirement System dropped as its bond-fund manager the popular and productive Pacific Investment Management Co., headed by well-known investor William Gross. Agency Executive Director James Wilbanks said at the time that they were trying to move away from the heavy use of derivatives and were having difficulty tracking the fund's transactions with Pacific Investment. …

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