CHARLESTON – The state of West Virginia’s Board of Treasury Investments celebrated its 10-year anniversary in July, marking a period of intense early growth balanced by adjustments stemming from the nationwide financial crisis in 2008.
From left to right: Karl Shanholtzer, Randy Covert, Steve Smith, Chap Donovan, State Auditor Glen Gainer, Kara Hughes, Robert Kiss, Holly Garner, State Treasurer John Perdue and Denise Baker.
State Treasurer John Perdue ignited the BTI’s genesis, and guided its journey to this point. Perdue had long maintained that the state’s “Consolidated Fund” should not be under the auspices of a quasi-governmental body, as it had been until July of 2005. Perdue had fought that previous legislative session for the BTI’s creation.
“I think we have proven the Legislature’s good judgement,” Treasurer Perdue said. “It had long been my contention that state operating funds belong within state government. I think our track record over the first 10 years justifies my position.”
As Perdue envisioned, the BTI is charged with managing the individual investment pools and accounts of the Consolidated Fund, which provides for investment of the state's short term operating funds as well as providing the opportunity for local governments to participate in large investment pools. The BTI is governed by a five-member board and manages the investments for more than 1,700 state agency and local government accounts.
Through the successes and trials, the BTI remains a conservative, dependable investment option for state and local agencies, focusing on money market funds and other short-term investments.
The BTI features three investment pools: West Virginia Money Market; West Virginia Government Money Market; and the West Virginia Short-Term Bond Pool. The former two are especially conservative, with the goal of maintaining liquidity to meet the needs of participants while striving to earn a return above inflation. Contributions and withdrawals are allowed daily. Income is also distributed each day.
The Short-Term Bond Pool is a bond mutual fund whose participants desire a potentially higher return and a longer-term investment horizon. The goal is to earn incremental returns over the West Virginia Money Market Pool with an objective of capital growth rather than current income.
Highlights of the past 10 years include:
”It has been a true honor to work with such a talented staff and board of directors,” BTI Executive Director Kara Hughes said. “Our list of accomplishments is great and more importantly, our ability to survive through the financial storm with stronger controls and stricter policies is an achievement in itself.”
- The BidWV CD Program was developed by the BTI to invest state dollars back into WV financial Institutions. In September 2013, the program surpassed $1B in awards and has consistently outperformed its benchmark by 13 basis points over the one-year period.
- The BTI reached an all-time high Consolidated Fund balance of $4.4 Billion in September 2012.
- The BTI has received the GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for nine consecutive years.
- During fiscal year 2008, the BTI received Standard & Poor’s AAAm rating for the West Virginia Money Market and West Virginia Government Money Market funds. The funds have received this designation for eight consecutive years.
- The BTI developed peer group benchmarks to measure performance against similar money market funds. As of June 30, 2015, the BTI ranked first for the WV Money Market fund when compared against 139 institutional funds for the 1 and 3 year periods.
- As part of the SEC money market reform, the BTI submitted a comment letter to the SEC regarding its potential impact on the State of WV. These comments were specifically referenced in the final SEC Money Market Reform ruling.