Teacher Retirement System of Texas ESG Head Departs

By David G. Barry

The first head of ESG at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) has left.

In a post on LinkedIn, Lauren Gellhaus called her time at the $200 billion system “an amazing chapter in my career.” She indicated that she would soon disclose her next step.

Rob Maxwell, a TRS’ spokesman, could only confirm her time at TRS. He did not provide details on plans to replace her.

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 lead ESG.

In her LinkedIn statement, Gellhaus said she was proud of board-approved ESG language added to the Investment Policy Statement, the establishment of a trust-wide ESG Committee, the process of providing formal updates to the board, the creation of an educational series, and the procuring of resources.

TRS has struggled over the past several years to retain and recruit staffers.

At a board meeting in July, TRS’ Chief Investment Officer Jase Auby said that if the pace of departures continues, TRS will end up seeing a third of its staff turn over between January 2021 and December 2022.