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State Investment Board votes to pull money from Russia investments

North Dakota’s State Investment Board has voted to jettison investments in Russian companies.

The vote was unanimous. It comes due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The SIB manages the Legacy Fund, as well as other state pension and insurance funds.

According to the state’s Retirement and Investment Office, less than one half of one percent of those funds are invested in funds with at least some ties to Russia. That’s $10 million. And that’s down from January, when the amount was $15 million.

The Investment Board oversees $19 to $20 billion dollars in investments.

The board chairman , Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, said the bonds were never purchased directly from Russia, but these are financial transactions on the exchange-traded investment market.

"Regardless, this is a travesty, a human tragedy," Sanford said at the Board meeting. "We don't want to be even putting the appearance out there that we're supportive of those investments having a resale value."

Board member Troy Seibel said total divestiture won’t happen overnight.

"Everyone is on board with divesting from Russian investments," Seibel said. "Sometimes it's not just as easy as clicking the 'sell' button."

State treasurer Thomas Beadle is also a member of the state Land Board, which also has a number of investments. He said that board is also working on divesting funds tied to Russia.

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