Wisconsin Treasurer Wants State to Ditch Russian Investments | Wisconsin News
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Treasurer Sarah Godlewski on Monday called on the state to forego any investment in Russian entities in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
Godlewski, a Democrat campaigning for the US Senate, issued a press release calling on the state’s investment board to identify all direct Russian holdings and develop a divestment plan.
The main responsibility of the Investment Board is the management of the State Employees Retirement Account. Board spokesman Chris Preisler said about 0.06% of the retirement account was made up of Russia-related assets. That’s about $90 million out of the $147 billion fund, he said.
External managers outside of the board’s control manage more than 80% of those accounts and none of the remaining assets are direct investments in Russian stocks or bonds, he said. It is difficult to find willing buyers for these assets given the situation in Ukraine, he added.
Godlewski also chairs the Board of Public Lands Commissioners by virtue of her position as Treasurer. She said she plans to divest all Russian holdings from the board accounts. The board invests funds from fines and forfeitures and lumber sales to provide additional funds to Wisconsin schools.
President Joe Biden has ordered US financial systems to sever ties with Russia’s biggest banks and impose sanctions on Russian elites and their family members in an effort to harm Russia’s economy and military operations. A dozen US governors are already reviewing or cutting financial ties with Russian companies.
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