NYS Comptroller DiNapoli Prohibits New Russian Investments and Directs Investment Review

March 1, 2022

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli has directed staff to prohibit all new investments in Russian companies and to review the New York State Common Retirement Fund’s (Fund) current investments and assess whether they present financial risks that warrant further restrictions or divestment. He is also reaching out to the Fund’s investment managers to urge them to conduct a similar examination to mitigate investment risk and minimize market impact.

“Russia’s unlawful invasion of Ukraine has led to unprecedented sanctions against Russian companies and individuals,” DiNapoli said. “While American sanctions already prohibit investments in many Russian companies, I believe it is prudent to freeze purchases in all Russian companies due to the situation’s unpredictability and the likelihood that conditions will deteriorate. This will ensure that the Fund does not increase its minimal exposure to the Russian economy while completing its divestment review, consistent with my fiduciary duty.

“This crisis has underscored major political and investment risks relating to President Putin’s unhinged, tyrannical foreign policy, leading to sanctions that have significantly hobbled Russia’s already weak economic growth. Russia’s currency has plummeted in just days since sanctions have been instituted. We will continue to monitor these changing events. New York stands with the Ukrainan people. We hope for a peaceful resolution.”

The Fund estimates it has $110.8 million in public equity investments including direct holdings and co-mingled funds in Russian companies.

About the New York State Common Retirement Fund

The New York State Common Retirement Fund is one of the largest public pension funds in the United States. The Fund holds and invests the assets of the New York State and Local Retirement System on behalf of more than one million state and local government employees and retirees and their beneficiaries. The Fund has consistently been ranked as one of the best managed and best funded plans in the nation. The Fund’s fiscal year ends March 31. Its quarterly value as of Dec. 31, 2021 was $279.7 billion.

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