The West Virginia Legislature approved a bill March 18 that would clear the way for the West Virginia Investment Management Board to invest up to 20% in alternatives including hedge funds and private equity, according to Craig Slaughter, investment board executive director. The board oversees $8.9 billion in state pension and other assets.
The bill would also permit the board to invest an additional 25% of its portfolio in real estate, another new asset class, Mr. Slaughter said.
Mr. Slaughter said current law limits investments to long-only publicly traded stocks and bonds. Public equities cannot be more than 60% of total assets, and international stock cannot exceed 20%. A practical consequence, according to Mr. Slaughter, is that 40% of the portfolio must be allocated to fixed income.
Gov. Joe Manchin is expected to sign the legislation, according to Mr. Slaughter. Were very happy about it, he added. Sara Scarbro, a spokeswoman for the governor, said Mr. Manchin had yet to receive the final legislation. As soon as he receives it, he will review it, Ms. Scarbro said.