Illinois appoints new AI chief

The Teachers’ Retirement System of Illinois, a $39.7 billion pension fund, has chosen a new senior alternative investments officer from within its ranks.

TRS Illinois tapped Lamar Villere to manage the private equity and absolute return portfolios. He has led the domestic equities team since 2005 for the Springfield, Ill.-based pension fund, and prior to that he was an equity analyst at Morgan Keegan & Co.

TRS Illinois had $3.5 billion committed to private equity at the end of the first quarter, split among LBO, venture, distressed and mezzanine funds. —Mark Cecil