New Mexico SIC looks at hiring 2 firms to take in $375 million
P&I | 10 April 2015

New Mexico SIC looks at hiring 2 firms to take in $375 million

By Arleen Jacobius

(Note: On April 29, 2015, Agri Investor reported that New Mexico's SIC did vote to approve the investment in Brookfield Brazil AgriLand Fund II. "This is the council's second investment into an agriculture-related fund this year, after it approved a $200m commitment to a TIAA-CREF fund in February.")

New Mexico State Investment Council, Santa Fe, is expected to accept its investment committee's recommendation to make a $300 million commitment to a master limited partnership separate account managed by Harvest Fund Advisors and a $75 million commitment to Brookfield Asset Management's Brookfield Brazil AgriLand Fund II, said Charles Wollmann, spokesman for the $20.5 billion endowment, in an e-mail.

The council has made three previous commitments totaling $225 million to Brookfield funds. If it approves an investment with Harvest, it would be the first with the manager and the council's first MLP investment.

The hirings should be made at the council's April 28 meeting.

Separately, Gov. Susana Martinez on Tuesday signed two bills backed by the New Mexico State Investment Council. One will help increase the inflows to the $4.5 billion Severance Tax Permanent Fund.

Before 1999, New Mexico saved half of its severance taxes on oil and natural gas and used the rest to back bonds for infrastructure projects. In recent years, that split had dwindled, so the state was saving 5% or less of the tax revenues to the permanent fund. With the fund's annual distributions of 4.7%, “investments alone weren't able to keep the fund healthy,” Mr. Wollmann wrote. The bill cuts bond issuance in phases over the next eight years, which is estimated to double the inflows to about $350 million to the permanent fund in the coming decade.

The other bill eliminated the statutorily established private equity committee and moved its duties to the investment committee. The bill also indemnifies council members and staff for performing normal fiduciary duties, makes the state investment officer an at-will employee and requires elected council members to disclose campaign contributions over the previous two years.
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