The New Jersey Department of the Treasury has announced that the state’s Division of Investment has sold all of its holdings tied to manufacturers of automatic and semi-automatic weapons for civilian use.
At a bi-monthly meeting of the State Investment Council on Thursday, Chris McDonough, director of the New Jersey Department of the Treasury’s Division of Investment, announced that the investment policy committee voted to sell its remaining position in the manufacturer Vista Outdoor, which produces semi-automatic rifles as part of its Savage MSR product line. The State Investment Council also agreed that a subcommittee will explore further actions related to civilian firearm manufacturers and retailers. The council could seek, for example, to engage in discussions with firearms and ammunition companies in an attempt to change business practices.
“We are always evaluating investment risk in the pension fund. After the tragedy in Parkland, we examined our holdings to identify companies which might be adversely financially impacted by a changing landscape as it relates to certain types of firearms,” McDonough said. “Vista Outdoor was the only holding we identified that manufactures semi-automatic or automatic weapons for civilian use. We had already been reducing the position over time and, consistent with our fiduciary responsibility, we recently sold our remaining position based on the merits of the investment.”
The Division of Investment, under the supervision of the State Investment Council, is one of the largest pension fund managers in the United States. The pension fund supports the retirement plans of about 769,000 employees in seven public pension systems in New Jersey: the Consolidated Police and Firemen’s Pension Fund, the Judicial Retirement System, the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System, the Prison Officers Pension Fund, the Public Employees’ Retirement System, the State Police Retirement System and the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund. Created by the New Jersey Legislature in 1950, the State Investment Council formulates policies governing the investment of funds by the director of the Division of Investment.