Positive Impact

Wyoming State Treasurer's 2017 Investment Conference

The State Treasurer's Office hosts this conference as an opportunity for Wyoming's legislative and executive leadership to meet, talk informally, and think about the investment horizons, opportunities and challenges the State might anticipate over the coming year. Investment returns are becoming ever more important to both Wyoming's economic well-being and the Retirement System's overall health. This conference provides an excellent forum for those conversations. It offers legislators, executives and staff an unsurpassed opportunity to meet, interact with and discuss with many of our best managers what lies ahead and how important performance is to us all.

There was an impressive group of speakers who attended this conference:

Joe Revill, Founder and Portfolio Manager - Two Ocean Capital. He presented "An Investor's Look at Wyoming."

Michael Cembalest, CIO - J.P. Morgan. His presentation was a "Global Outlook for Mineral Revenues."

Brien Smith, Managing Director - Neuberger Berman. Mr. Smith spoke on Large Project Loans and Best Investment Ideas.

Frank Mendicino, Managing Director - Access Venture Partners. He joined Mr. Smith on the topics of Large Project Loans and Best Investment Ideas.

Martin Walke, V.P. of Economic Development - Louisiana Public Facilities Authority. Mr. Walke's presentation referred to "Economic Development - How Others Have Done It and Wyoming's Take."

Matt Clark, CIO - South Dakota Investment Council. Mr. Clark had three topics to discuss: Best Investment Ideas, Direct Investment Opportunities and Optimal Investment Structure.

The final speaker was Russell Read, CIO - Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. His discussion involved "Doing More with Our Peers and Right-Sizing Office Capacity - Balancing Internal vs. External Management."

  • Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation - Russell Read, Chief Investment Officer
  • J.P.Morgan Asset Management (Economic Discussion) - Michael Cembalst, Chairman of Market & Investment Strategy
  • J.P.Morgan Asset Management (Energy Discussion) - Michael Cembalst, Chairman of Market & Investment Strategy
  • Louisiana Public Facilities Authority - Martin Walke, Vice President
  • Neuberger Berman - Brien Smith, Managing Director
  • South Dakota Investment Council - Matt Clark, State Investment Officer
  • Two Ocean Capital - Joel Revill, Founder & Portfolio Manager
  • Photo Gallery


  • Treasurer Gordon Welcomes Wyoming's Boys and Girls State

    The Wyoming Boys and Girls State Program is a week-long session of learning about our government - on the city, county and state levels. The session is held in June of each year, and is a chance for high school juniors from across the state to participate in a week's worth of activities to gain knowledge of their state and its government structure. Delegates learn first-hand how government works, experiencing what it takes to create and enact laws. Pictured above in the first photo are Wyoming State Treasurer Mark Gordon along with Girls State Representatives Katherine Schuetz from Evansville, and Elena Lompe from Kaycee, who was elected as the State Treasurer. Representing the Boys State Delegation, in the second photo, and elected as State Treasurer, is Jadon Williams from Glenrock. View more photos of the Delegates in the Photo Gallery.

  • Photo Gallery

  • National Association of State Treasurers

    In the first quarter of every year, the National Association of State Treasurers convenes a Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. This year over 35 Treasurers and some of their key staff were able to attend. With the new Trump Administration in office and plans for tax reform and infrastructure development on everyone's mind, this was an especially interesting conference. In addition to meeting with key Whitehouse staff (an especially productive meeting thanks in part to Arizona Treasurer Jeff DeWit who served as the Trump Campaign's COO), NAST leadership also had occasion to spend a few moments with Speaker Paul Ryan. Pictured above are retiring Treasurer Ron Estes of Kansas running now to fill the House seat vacated by Congressman Mike Pompeo who was appointed to head the Central Intelligence Agency, Treasurer Ken Miller of Oklahoma, Speaker Paul Ryan, Treasurers Mark Gordon and Beth Pearce of Vermont. Topics included discussions on tax reform including the Border Adjustment Tax proposals in the House, preserving the tax-deductibility of Municipal Bonds important elements of infrastructure development, and repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act.




    Did You Hear What's Going on with Unclaimed Property?

    There are huge changes happening in the Unclaimed Property Division. Process changes and technological changes are putting better tools in the hands of an already experienced staff.

    Last year, during the month of December the Unclaimed Property Division processed 88 claims for a total of $96,001.73. Not bad right? Not bad for the people who got that money. But now the news is better. During the month of December 2016 the Unclaimed Property Division processed 445 claims for a total of $670,069.29 and initiated another 389 claims.

    In the last four month period September through December, the Division processed a total of 1092 claims and returned over a million dollars ($1,197,900) !! Last year during that same time period, the Division processed 372 claims and returned $458,357.38.

    What's the difference? The Unclaimed Property team has been reassessing processes and implementing new technologies. See report to the legislature titled Unclaimed Property - The State's Lost & Found Program by clicking the link at the bottom. That report gives an overview of Unclaimed Property, its history, the dollars involved, difficulties and plans for the future. You'll see that some of the Treasurer's plans have already been implemented, thus bringing the increase in successful claims.

    Is there Unclaimed Property waiting for you? Check out our on-line search link. We hope we are reporting good news about you next time!

  • Unclaimed Property Report

  • Stroock Sovereign Wealth Forum in Jackson Hole

    The Stroock Sovereign Wealth Forum provided an opportunity for conversation and reflection among global sovereign wealth fund leadership on issues important to a crucial sector of the global savings pool. This inaugural session has come during a period of unusual uncertainty in the global economy and financial markets, and thus an especially good time for further discussion on core questions:

    1. Role. Has the evolving global economy altered the underlying rationales for which sovereigns have accumulated wealth funds? Historically, these have included "rainy day" resources to assist in managing short- to medium-term fiscal pressures, facilitating the public's participation in natural resource extraction and ensuring the intergenerational sustainability of living standards through accumulation of "future funds".

    2. Scale. How large should a SWF be relative to the size of population, the fundamentals of the economy and the role expected of the fund?

    3. Governance. Who is ultimately responsible for the design, governance, and management of a SWF? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches to this "authorizing environment"?

    4. Spending and investment policy. Do evolving macroeconomic and financial market conditions call for a rethink of the spending and investment policy frameworks for SWFs, whether established to mitigate fiscal pressures, generate reliable current income for the public or accumulate resources for the longer term? Have changing conditions altered long-term return and volatility expectations? If so, what is the appropriate direction for important spending and investment decisions? Are there considerations that would lead to different responses for SWFs than for other pools of savings with similar objectives?

    5. Natural resource dependency. For SWFs heavily dependent on natural resources for funding, what are the most effective tools available to mitigate the impact of price and production volatility on a SWF? Longer term, how can sponsors maintain a sustainable SWF in cases in which the corpus is derived from energy resources affected by carbon constraints?

    6. Risk tolerance, return expectations and investment practice. What is the current thinking on active versus passive strategies, outsourcing investment management versus building internal expertise (whether by asset class, or for the entire portfolio)

    7. Transparency. What are evolving approaches to public transparency with respect to SWF governance and oversight, management, revenues, expenditures and investment performance? How can this transparency best be enhanced without impeding effective management?

    8. Stakeholder education. Experience among a number of SWFs is that effective education of stakeholders and the general public concerning the fund's purposes and policies can be important both in its own right and as a mechanism for ensure that SWF management has public support for effective spending and investment policies. What is the best way to accomplish this?

    We anticipated a robust discussion and an opportunity to find consensus and direction on many of the issues facing SWF leadership, public decision-makers and their constituents, and the financial industry that serves them.


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    Wyoming in Top 100 in the World?!

    Wyoming Treasurer Mark Gordon received accolades for the third year in a row as he was named in the "Top 100 Most Significant and Impactful Asset Owner and Public Executives of 2015." This is a worldwide recognition awarded by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute (SWFI).

    Gordon was named in the top 100 along with Janet Yellen, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, United States; Karsten Kallevig, Chief Investment Officer Real Estate, Norges Bank Investment Management, Norway; and Brian Tipple, Global Head of External Equities, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, United Arab Emirates. Gordon was listed 58th in the world.

    Gordon was appointed by Wyoming Governor Matt Mead to be the 31st State Treasurer of Wyoming on October 26, 2012 upon the death of then Treasurer Joseph B. Meyer. Gordon was subsequently elected to the position of State Treasurer in November 2014.

    One of the major factors that determine inclusion on the list of top 100 Most Significant and Impactful Asset Owner and Public Executives is the individual's contribution to important trends in the asset owner industry. "I'm thrilled to be included in this recognized group, especially since it is not just based on who makes the most money, but rather on who is having a positive impact on investment practice; which is a serious consideration for our future," Gordon stated.

    According to SWFI, the men and women chosen for the 2015 list of top asset owners and public executives command billions of assets, impacting the lives of stakeholders and constituents globally. SWFI stated that the people on the top 100 list were chosen by SWFI staff- not influenced by asset managers, governments or consultants. They come from medium to large-sized asset owners - sovereign wealth funds, public pensions, superannuation funds, endowments, central banks and other retirement funds.

    Governor Matt Mead congratulated Treasurer Gordon. "I know - first hand - how hard the Treasurer and his team work. They take pride in everything they do and watch every dollar and every penny. This is a high praise for Mark and his office and it is good news for Wyoming."

    Gordon, said he is humbled by his inclusion in the top 100 worldwide. "It's a nice accolade; and it shows we are in the big leagues," Gordon said. "I love Wyoming and it is an incredible responsibility and honor to be integrally involved in Wyoming's financial health," Gordon stated. Gordon also was quick to give credit to the employees of the State Treasurer's Office saying, "I have an incredible staff and they do a great job for Wyoming." "I am looking forward to Patrick Fleming joining our team as CIO; he'll make an already great team even better," Gordon said.

    Wyoming's investment portfolio nears 20 billion dollars. Realized investment income from the portfolio crested one billion dollars this past year for the first time in history. "I'm honored to be at the helm of the Treasurer's Office, especially at this time. Yes, we did well last year but as everyone knows, the market has ups and downs so how we invest and manage our funds warrants much thought and consideration," Gordon stated. "It's wise to have a relatively conservative, long term plan which generates income for the present but is balanced with preserving a corpus of funds for our future," Gordon said.

    The entire list of the 100 Most Significant and Impactful Asset Owner and Public Executives of 2015 can be found at: http://www.swfinstitute.org/public-investor-100-2015.