The Allocator Finalists for II’s 2019 Hedge Fund Awards

Yale’s endowment, UTIMCO, and Texas Teachers are among the institutions nominated.


Years like 2018 separate casual hedge fund investors from the elite.

The allocator finalists for Institutional Investor’s 17th annual Hedge Fund Industry Awards belong to the latter group. Their manager selection and portfolio construction skills will be celebrated at a gala dinner in New York on June 27, where the winners of both allocator and manager categories will be revealed.

[II Deep Dive: Here Are the Manager Finalists for the 2019 Hedge Fund Awards]

Finalist institutions will be up against their best peers — and in some cases, former team members.

Less than two years into Dominic Garcia’s tenure as CIO, New Mexico’s public employee pension fund has earned a finalist spot alongside his old employer: the powerhouse State of Wisconsin Investment Board. Other large public plan finalists include Massachusetts’ state investment board MassPRIM, the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, and state teachers’ funds for Illinois and Texas.


Texas Teachers’ leaders — CIO Jerry Albright and deputy CIO Jase Auby — inherited an innovative hedge fund program in 2017 when they took over TRS, and have boldly made it their own, starting with a major emerging-manager play.

The gala may be something of a reunion for TRS team members and alumni. UTIMCO — led by former TRS chief Britt Harris and several of his longtime deputies — is a finalist for Endowment of the Year.

This highly competitive category pits the $45 billion University of Texas investment company against smaller private schools, including Bowdoin College, Villanova, and David Swensen’s legendary Yale University endowment.

Competition will likewise be fierce for the title of Outsourced Investor of the Year. The OCIO sector has (unlike hedge funds) flourished in recent years, with the six finalist firms capitalizing more than most on abundant inflows. Half of the nominated firms are established giants — Cambridge Associates, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Neuberger Berman — and half are elite boutiques, including Makena Capital Management, Perella Weinberg Partners, and Appomattox Advisory.

Which will triumph? That’s up the voters.

The voting process for the Hedge Fund Awards begins with a public call for nominations; the Institutional Investor editorial staff concurrently devises a list of candidates based on its own knowledge of the firms and institutions, as well as discussions with its network of industry sources. All of the nominations, as well as the internally generated candidates, are then vetted based on how strongly the editorial team believes they meet a wide range of criteria for their respective categories.

After the nominees are publicly announced, Institutional Investor conducts a wide survey of U.S. allocators and invites them to vote for the manager nominees. Hedge fund managers are also invited to vote for the investor nominees.

Two Lifetime Achievement Awards will also be presented at the June gala, one each to an asset allocator and an investment manager. Recipients will be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information about the dinner or to request a ballot, please visit the event web site.

Public Plan of the Year, Large (more than $15 billion in assets)

  • Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board
  • Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System
  • Public Employees Retirement Association of New Mexico
  • State of Wisconsin Investment Board
  • Teacher Retirement System of Texas
  • Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois

Public Plan of the Year, Small (less than $15 billion in assets)

  • Employees’ Retirement Fund of the City of Dallas
  • Orange County Employees Retirement System
  • Oregon State Treasury
  • Police & Fire Department Retirement Plan of the City of San José
  • San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System
  • Texas County & District Retirement System

Corporate Plan of the Year

  • AT&T
  • Boeing
  • Exelon Corp.
  • FedEx Co.
  • Raytheon Co.
  • United Parcel Service

Endowment of the Year

  • Bowdoin College
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • Texas Tech University
  • University of Texas Investment Management Co.
  • Villanova University
  • Yale University

Foundation of the Year

  • Cargill Foundation
  • Carnegie Corp. of New York
  • Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
  • The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Family Office of the Year

  • Crow Holdings
  • Fremont Group
  • Kactus Capital Management
  • Lighthouse Financial Services
  • Merrimac Corp.
  • Pendyne Capital

Health Care System of the Year

  • BJC HealthCare
  • Children’s Health (Dallas)
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Hartford HealthCare
  • Indiana University Health
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Outsourced Investor of the Year

  • Appomattox Advisory
  • Cambridge Associates
  • Goldman Sachs Asset Management
  • Makena Capital Management
  • Neuberger Berman
  • PWP Agility

Hedge Fund Consultant of the Year

  • Aetos Capital
  • Aksia
  • Albourne Partners
  • Cambridge Associates
  • NEPC Investment Consulting
  • StepStone Group

Sovereign Wealth Fund of the Year

  • Alberta Investment Management Corp.
  • China Investment Corp.
  • Future Fund (Australia)
  • Korea Investment Corp.
  • Queensland Investment Corp.
  • Texas Permanent School Fund