TIAA-CREF Emerging Markets Debt Fund Marks 3-Year Anniversary with 5-Star Inaugural Morningstar Rating

NEW YORK--()--TIAA Investments, an affiliate of leading global investment manager Nuveen, commemorates the three-year anniversary of the TIAA-CREF Emerging Markets Debt Fund. Following this milestone, the fund received a five-star rating from Morningstar.1

With nearly $390 billion in fixed income assets under management, Nuveen is one of the largest managers of fixed income investments in the world2 and a leading manager of emerging markets debt. The TIAA-CREF Emerging Markets Debt Fund which has $321 million in assets3 is designed to provide blended exposure to a range of emerging markets fixed-income securities, including U.S. dollar and local currency denominated sovereign and corporate bonds, and is available in multiple share classes (TEDNX, TEDHX, TEDLX, TEDTX, TEDPX).

“We have developed tremendous versatility and scope over the 10 years since we started this investment strategy. We now manage more than $12 billion in emerging markets debt assets across a range of investment mandates,” said Katherine Renfrew, managing director at TIAA Investments and lead manager of the TIAA-CREF Emerging Markets Debt Fund. “There has been a significant increase in investor appetite for emerging markets debt as a means of generating income and improving portfolio diversification. With emerging markets economies on the rise and expected to outpace developed markets in the coming decade, the landscape is ripe with opportunity.”

The portfolio management team has more than four decades combined experience investing in emerging markets and is supported by a dedicated team of research analysts and traders specializing in emerging markets corporates and sovereign debt. The strategy uses a combination of top-down macroeconomic and bottom-up credit analysis to identify and execute compelling investment opportunities.

“Our investment approach focuses on sourcing the best investment opportunities across the various segments of emerging markets in order to generate consistent long-term favorable returns and is driven by our team’s research-intensive investment process,” said Anupam Damani, co-portfolio manager of the TIAA-CREF Emerging Markets Debt Fund and managing director at TIAA Investments. “The fund’s performance is a testament to our specialized research and trading capabilities and the firm’s proven track record delivering unique investment opportunities across international markets for decades.”

Analysis and outlook for the asset class is available in a new white paper, entitled Emerging Markets Debt: A New World in Fixed Income, which explores implications of the following:

  • After several years of struggles, emerging economies are back on the rise and expected to outgrow their developed-markets counterparts by more than 3% per year over the balance of this decade.
  • Major reforms since the financial crisis have resulted in stronger national balance sheets, lower inflation, and appreciating currencies. The debt-to-GDP ratio is far lower in emerging markets (69%) than in developed markets (172%).
  • Emerging markets represent a $20 trillion dollar bond market and debt is issued in dozens of currencies by both sovereign governments and corporations, giving it a built-in diversification benefit.
  • Key benefits of emerging markets debt include higher yields than most conventional bond categories and lower sensitivity to rising interest rates.
  • Emerging markets debt tends to be underrepresented in U.S. investors’ portfolios and can provide significant diversification to long-term fixed income portfolios.

About TIAA Investments

TIAA Investments, an affiliate of Nuveen, offers a broad selection of traditional and alternative investment solutions for institutional and individual investors, encompassing private capital, active equity and fixed income, index, ESG and multi-asset strategies.

About Nuveen

Nuveen offers a comprehensive range of outcome-focused investment solutions designed to secure the long-term financial goals of institutional and individual investors. As the investment management arm of TIAA, Nuveen has $929 billion in assets under management as of 6/30/17 and operations in 16 countries. Its affiliates offer deep expertise across a comprehensive range of traditional and alternative investments through a wide array of vehicles and customized strategies. For more information, please visit

1 For the period ended September 30, 2017, Morningstar rated this Fund’s Institutional shares, for the overall and three-year periods. The Institutional shares received 5 and 5 stars among 226 and 226 Emerging Markets Bond Funds, respectively. These ratings are for the Institutional shares only; other classes may have different performance characteristics. Investment performance reflects applicable fee waivers. Without such waivers, total returns would be reduced and ratings could be lower.

The Morningstar RatingTM for funds, or "star rating", is calculated for managed products (including mutual funds, variable annuity and variable life subaccounts, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, and separate accounts) with at least a three-year history. Exchange-traded funds and open-ended mutual funds are considered a single population for comparative purposes. It is calculated based on a Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return measure that accounts for variation in a managed product's monthly excess performance, placing more emphasis on downward variations and rewarding consistent performance. The top 10% of products in each product category receive 5 stars, the next 22.5% receive 4 stars, the next 35% receive 3 stars, the next 22.5% receive 2 stars, and the bottom 10% receive 1 star. The Overall Morningstar Rating for a managed product is derived from a weighted average of the performance figures associated with its three-, five-, and 10-year (if applicable) Morningstar Rating metrics. The weights are: 100% three-year rating for 36-59 months of total returns, 60% five-year rating/40% three-year rating for 60-119 months of total returns, and 50% 10-year rating/30% five-year rating/20% three-year rating for 120 or more months of total returns. While the 10-year overall star rating formula seems to give the most weight to the 10-year period, the most recent three-year period actually has the greatest impact because it is included in all three rating periods. ©2016 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The information contained herein: (1) is proprietary to Morningstar and/or its content providers; (2) may not be copied or distributed; and (3) is not warranted to be accurate, complete, or timely. Neither Morningstar nor its content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising from any use of this information.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The fund may have experienced negative returns over the time periods rated.2 2017 Pensions & Investments annual rankings based on institutional tax-exempt domestic assets under management as of December 31, 2016 reported by each responding asset manager and published on May 30, 2017.

3 As of June 30, 2017.

Mutual fund investing involves risk; principal loss is possible. There is no guarantee the Fund’s investment objectives will be achieved. Non-U.S. investments involve risks such as currency fluctuation, political and economic instability, lack of liquidity and differing legal and accounting standards. These risks are magnified in emerging markets. Investments in debt securities issued or guaranteed by governments or governmental entities are subject to the risk that an entity may delay or refuse to pay interest or principal on its sovereign debt because of cash flow problems, insufficient foreign reserves, or political or other considerations. In this event, there may be no legal process for collecting sovereign debts that a governmental entity has not repaid. Non-diversified funds invest in a limited number of issuers and are therefore more vulnerable to changes in the market value of a single issuer or group of issuers than diversified funds. Credit risk arises from an issuer’s ability to make interest and principal payments when due, as well as the prices of bonds declining when an issuer’s credit quality is expected to deteriorate. Interest rate risk occurs when interest rates rise causing bond prices to fall. The Fund’s income could decline during periods of falling interest rates. Investments in below investment grade or high yield securities are subject to liquidity risk and heightened credit risk. These and other risk considerations, such as active management, call, derivatives, illiquid investments, issuer, and income volatility risks, are described in detail in the Fund’s prospectus.

Before investing, carefully consider fund investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. For this and other information that should be read carefully, please request a prospectus or summary prospectus from Nuveen at 800-752-8700 or visit

This material is not intended to be a recommendation or investment advice, does not constitute a solicitation to buy or sell securities, and is not provided in a fiduciary capacity. The information provided does not take into account the specific objectives or circumstances of any particular investor, or suggest any specific course of action. Investment decisions should be made based on an investor's objectives and circumstances and in consultation with his or her advisors.

The investment advisory services, strategies and expertise of TIAA Investments, a division of Nuveen, are provided by Teachers Advisors, LLC and TIAA-CREF Investment Management, LLC. Securities offered through Nuveen Securities, LLC, member FINRA and SIPC.



Nuveen Media Relations
Mary Ellen Higgins
(m) 781.789.1911


Nuveen Media Relations
Mary Ellen Higgins
(m) 781.789.1911