North Dakota State Investment Board’s retirement and investment office will be the subject of external performance and financial audits following the April 10 apparent suicide of Stephen Cochrane, executive director and chief investment officer, confirmed interim CIO LeRoy Gilbertson.
The office oversees the state’s combined $3 billion teachers’ and public employees’ retirement funds.
An RFP for an external performance auditor is available on the North Dakota State Investment Board website at http://www.nd.gov/rio/SIB. Eide Bailly on July 1 will conduct the financial audit of the North Dakota Retirement and Investment Office, Bismarck, a state government office that coordinates the activities of the North Dakota State Investment Board and the state Teachers’ Fund for Retirement, according to a news release.
Mr. Gilbertson said in a telephone interview that the performance audit will look at whether Mr. Cochrane was adhering to the state’s manager hiring policies.
“In light of the untimely death of former (CIO) Steve Cochrane, this (performance) audit will seek to determine if he adhered to executive limitations regarding the protection, maintenance and risk of assets; avoided conflicts of interest; ensured reasonable fees under the prudent investor rule; and exercised appropriate diligence in the selection and retention of money managers,” according to a news release from the North Dakota Retirement and Investment Office.
The board also noted in the news release that it will “examine electronic information of the manager, including e-mails, documentation, and hard drives.”
Mr. Gilbertson said he hopes to have the audits completed and a new CIO hired by the end of August.
“It depends on what (the auditors) find and what they don’t find,” he said.