Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, Baltimore, was urged by Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele to divest itself of roughly $1.8 billion in investments connected to Sudan, confirmed Bryon Johnston, Mr. Steele's spokesman.
The $34 billion system has more than $16 billion in five commingled funds and $9 million in 14 separately managed accounts that may include securities invested in companies engaged in business with the Sudanese government, according to a news release from the lieutenant governor's office. Mr. Steele urged the system to support a bill sponsored by state Delegate Salima Siler Marriott that would require that the system's investment managers not invest in companies with ties to Sudan. The bill was introduced last year and will be the subject of a hearing on Wednesday.
System spokeswoman Anne Budowski said its investment board is considering the issue and may address divestiture at its next meeting April 14, after the General Assembly has adjourned and action on the bill has been resolved.