Former Head of ESG at Teacher Retirement System of Texas Lands at Wilshire

By David G. Barry

The former head of environmental social and governance (ESG) at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) has a new role.

Lauren Gellhaus has joined institutional advisor Wilshire as a vice president in its institutional practice. As a member of its client solutions team, Gellhaus will focus on pension plans and report to Managing Director Thomas Toth.

Gellhaus joined TRS in 2017 in investment operations after serving as head of operations for Fulcrum Capital. She transitioned in 2019 to an investor role as part of the External Public Markets team and in 2020, was tapped to be the $200 billion system’s first head of ESG.

She left in August. In a post on LinkedIn, Gellhaus called her time at the $200 billion system “an amazing chapter in my career.”

During her time at TRS, the system added ESG language to its Investment Policy Statement and established a trust wide ESG Committee.

TRS has not indicated whether it will be naming a new head of ESG. It operates in a state that has pushed back against ESG. Texas, in fact, was the first state to pass anti-ESG legislation. It bars local authorities from doing business with banks that have adopted ESG policies and divested from Texas fossil fuel-based energy companies.

Wilshire also brought aboard Nathan Howes as a vice president on the client solutions team. He will focus on non-profit clients and report to Managing Director Rob Appling. Previously, Howes spent nearly nine years at Mercer, most recently as a senior investment consultant.

Founded in 1972, Wilshire advises on $1.3 trillion and manages $84 billion in assets. It serves more than 500 institutional and financial intermediary clients from 10 offices globally.