Performance compensation for investment professionals examined

in News

By Cowboy State Daily

A plan to reward the people who invest the state’s money for good choices is headed for the Senate floor.

HB 222 was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday on a vote of 5-0 after winning the final approval of the House last week on a vote of 54-4.

The bill would award investment professionals inside the state Treasurer’s office if the investments they select meet certain benchmarks for performance.

Patrick Fleming, the state’s chief investment officer, said the the state needs to pay its investment professionals more because they are paid less than people in similar jobs in most other states.

“It’s very difficult with Wyoming in some of the tough times we’re having right now to increase salaries,” he said. “But what (legislators) said was ‘If you could beat the benchmark, then potentially we could give you a bonus.’”

Benchmarks for investment performance would be set by overall market performance.

Sen. Bill Landen, R-Casper, a supporter of the bill, said if the state’s investment professionals perform well, the state might be able to reduce the fees it pays to outside money managers.

In addition, Landen said, the bonuses might help keep high-quality employees in the state.

“How do we keep our investment officers longer so that we can develop that expertise and take good care of the state’s money and therefore cut into the $60 million or $80 million that we spend every year having somebody else manage our money?” he said.

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