Illinois reviewing pensions for gun investments
SPRINGFIELD— Illinois public pension fund managers are reviewing their portfolios for investments in gun manufacturers after last week's Connecticut school shooting.
Illinois State Board of Investment Executive Director William Atwood says that agency's $12 billion portfolio includes about 84,000 shares worth $1.7 million in three gun-makers — Olin, Sturm Ruger and Smith & Wesson.
Neither Atwood's agency nor the Teachers' Retirement System does business with Cerberus Capital Management. Cerberus is the private-equity firm that announced this week it would sell the maker of the rifle used in the Connecticut school massacre that killed 26 people.
Spokesman Dave Urbanek says the teachers' system is reviewing its $37 billion portfolio for connections to other gun-makers as information for its trustees.
State law only prohibits investing in business with Sudan and Iran.
Beth Spencer with the State Universities Retirement System in Champaign said it conducted a review of its portfolio earlier this week and found no direct exposure to assault-style weapons through any of its private equity holdings "and 0.0 percent via our public securities," she said.
SURS has approximately $14.5 billion in fund assets in its defined benefit and defined contribution plans.
Over at the University of Illinois Foundation, the private fundraising arm of the university, spokesman Don Koijch said officials there have asked fund managers to review the foundation's holdings for any direct or indirect investments in firearm manufacturers. As of Friday, the foundation had not received the results of that review. The combined active endowment for the university and the UI Foundation is more than $1.6 billion.