Gary B. Bland was named state investment officer of the $10 billion New Mexico State Investment Council, Santa Fe. He succeeds Philip J. Archibeck, who was replaced by Gov. Bill Richardson. Mr. Archibeck didn't return calls for comment about his plans.
Mr. Bland retired in 2001 as vice president-trust investments at Boeing Co., when the company moved its corporate headquarters, including pension investments, to Chicago from Seattle.
Gov. Richardson, elected in the fall, appointed Mr. Bland following a national search. The Legislature confirmed his appointment on Feb. 4, effective immediately. Mr. Bland also will serve on Gov. Richardson's cabinet.
The council oversees investments of the state permanent funds; contributions come from land grant revenue and severance taxes on resources. "I'm really pumped up about this job," Mr. Bland said, calling it an exciting opportunity. He said he found out about the opening through investment industry contacts. No recruiting firm was used.
He plans to review all investment management relationships. New England Pension Consultants, the fund's consultant, will assist. About half of the assets are run in-house. Mr. Bland will direct a staff of 21, including 17 in investments.
Mr. Bland said he especially wants to enhance in-state investments to help stimulate the state's economy, which is a goal of Gov. Richardson. Mr. Bland said as long as the bid for an investment project is competitive, he will consider it.
"I said I had ambitious plans for the State Investment Office, and I wanted a leader who will take the office in a new direction," said Gov. Richardson in a statement. The governor said he wants Mr. Bland "to invest more in New Mexico - to create new businesses and high-wage jobs, and to create new opportunities, such as boosting the film industry and high technology."
Mr. Bland said he will "look seriously at domestic state investments, and doing more business within the state."
Over the next month, he will be working with the Legislature on in-state investment allocation proposals, including proposals for real estate equity and debt, and private equity. The funds don't invest in real estate now, Mr. Bland said. The Land Grant Permanent Fund has 2% of its $7.4 billion in private equity, all nationally invested. The Severance Tax Permanent Fund has 3.3% of its $3.8 billion fund in private equity; about one-fifth of that is invested in New Mexico.
The governor has proposed the state invest $200 million - 2% - of the fund for investment in New Mexico businesses.