The $5.3bn West Virginia Investment Management Board (WVIMB) is planning an asset liability study for the end of the second quarter, according to Craig Slaughter, executive director of the WVIMB.
Currently legislation in West Virginia prohibits the WVIMB from investing more than 60% of its assets in equities. Slaughter said that the purpose of the study would be to determine how the limit on equities is effecting the board’s investments. If the study concludes that the limit is having a detrimental effect on the WVIMB's investments, Slaughter said that the board would have to go to the state’s legislators to get the issue resolved.
Additionally, the WVIMB has given its approval to Western Asset Management to invest in high yield bonds. According to Slaughter, Western is the only one of the boards three fixed income managers that will be allowed to invest in that asset class.
Western actively manages $1bn for the WVIMB and will be allowed to invest up to 15% of that money in high yield. The WVIMB's two other fixed income managers are Barclays Global Investors (BGI) who passively manage $1bn in corporate and mortgage domestic fixed income pool.
Together, BGI and Western account for 90% of the WVIMB's fixed income portfolio. The remaining 10% is run by Hoisington Investment Management in US treasury bills.
The WVIMB is responsible for the investment of the assets of the state’s various pension and employment security plans. Amongst the pension schemes covered by the WVIMB are $84.7m Department of Public Safety, Death, Disability and Retirement Fund; the $39.2m Deputy Sheriffs' Retirement System; the $42.9m Judges' Retirement System; the $2.69bn Public Employees' Retirement System; the $1bn Teachers' Retirement System; and the $7.4m West Virginia State Police Retirement System.
By Geoffrey Ho
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