ND investments doing very well, exceeding 'benchmarks'

Jul 4, 2017

Chief Investment Officer Dave Hunter testifies before a Legislative interim committee.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota’s chief investment officer said funds managed by the state Investment Board have done very well in fiscal 2017.

That includes state retirement funds, as well as the Legacy Fund and the budget stabilization fund.

"Actually, for the 10 months ending April 30th, they've earned over a billion dollars," said CIO Dave Hunter. "State Investment Board assets are close to $12 billion. A big chunk of that -- $1 billion -- is investment earnings since July 1, 2016."

Hunter said the funds have generated more than 10 percent returns in that time period. But he said he doesn’t expect that to last.

"We expect the Legacy Fund to earn 6% to 6.4% in he long term,"Hunter said. "Same thing with the pension trust. We're well in excess of 10% right now."

Over the long term, Hunter said the Investment Board expects 7.75% over the long term for the retirement funds.

"Our goal is to always do a little bit better than the benchmark," Hunter said. "And we've been successful doing that over the last five years."

Hunter said the investments have probably generated about $250 million in additional income by beating the market by about a half-percent.

"I don't know if it sounds like a lot," Hunter said. "But if you beat the market by a half-percent every year over a long period of time, it makes a real difference."