PROVIDENCE, R.I. – General Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo today announced that she directed Cliffwater, one of the state's investment consultants, to review the pension fund's alternative investment holdings for firearm and ammunition manufacturers and distributors. Raimondo shared the findings at Wednesday's monthly meeting of the State Investment Commission.
"As the mother of two public elementary school students, my heart aches for the families of Newtown, Connecticut and what they are enduring. We must all be doing what we can to make sure this never happens again," said Raimondo, the chair of the State Investment Commission. "We owe it to one another to keep our neighborhoods and schools safe for all our children and their families."
Cliffwater's preliminary search identified that the state invests with one private equity firm, Wellspring, which has an equity stake in United Sporting Companies, a distributor of firearms, shooting accessories and hunting supplies. According to Wellspring, United Sporting Companies notified them that they will be ending their distribution of semi-automatic rifles as of January 1, 2013.
In the coming months, the State Investment Commission will be exploring these issues further as it develops its corporate governance policy. In developing this policy, the commission will need to balance its fiduciary responsibility to maximize investment returns with the need to hold corporate citizens accountable.