Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association, Denver, adopted a phased strategy for reviewing and possibly divesting direct fund investments in companies that do business in Iran, confirmed Katie Kaufmanis, spokeswoman for the $43.3 billion system. All investments in both the $41.5 billion defined benefit plan and the two defined contribution plans with a combined $1.7 billion will be evaluated by staff; private equity and commingled funds will not be included. Staff will look for foreign companies that have made $20 million investments since Aug. 3, 1996, in Irans energy sector; are linked to terrorist organizations identified by the U.S. government; or are engaged in business that facilitates Iranian acquisition of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons technology or military equipment, according to the policy.
Once identified, companies will be contacted within 30 days and placed on a list that will preclude them temporarily from receiving further PERA investment. Within 90 days, the system will analyze the companys response and take further steps that could include divestment.