State Investment Commission Approves Magaziner Proposal to Authorize Liquidation of Russian Holdings in Response to Invasion of Ukraine 

Published on Wednesday, March 02, 2022

Treasurer Magaziner affirms support for people of Ukraine, decries unjustified invasion 

Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner today announced that the State Investment Commission has voted unanimously to approve his proposal to pull State pension fund investments from all Russian financial assets in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.  

“Rhode Islanders are rightfully appalled by Vladimir Putin’s horrific and unjustified invasion of Ukraine,” said Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner. “This war is an affront to the values of Rhode Island and all free and democratic states. Financial markets operate best when democracy and freedom are promoted and valued, and Rhode Island’s pension funds will not be used to fund Putin’s illegal war.” 

Treasurer Magaziner called for an emergency meeting of the State Investment Commission earlier this week to approve his plan to liquidate all financial holdings connected to Russian assets as the United States and allied nations imposed a series of economic sanctions meant to have both immediate and long-term effects on the Russian economy. Russian assets comprise roughly 0.3% of total Rhode Island pension system assets, and the policy adopted today is not expected to have a significant financial impact on the pension system.

The pension fund has consistently achieved strong financial performance under Treasurer Magaziner’s ‘Back to Basics’ investment strategy launched in 2017. During 2021, the pension fund achieved a 17.27% annualized return, the highest annualized return in over a decade, and significantly ahead of the median large public pension plan performance of 13.9%. According to the InvMetrics Public DB Database, which tracks the performance of 594 public pension plans, the pension fund outperformed 92% of public pension plans during the last calendar year.  

Additional information about the Rhode Island pension system, including the 'Back to Basics' investment strategy and performance, can be found online as part of Treasurer Magaziner's "Transparent Treasury" initiative at: investments.treasury.ri.gov

Note: All performance is reported on a "net of fees" basis.