MONTPELIER, Vt.-Vermont State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding announced today that the Vermont Pension Investment Committee has issued a request for proposals soliciting investment opportunities intended to support economic and community development in Vermont. This is the second year that VPIC has requested such proposals, after adopting a policy on economically targeted investments in 2006. VPIC oversees more than $3 billion in retirement funds for Vermont teachers, state employees, and municipal employees.According to Spaulding, this initiative is unrelated to the recent debate in the Legislature regarding a proposal by Governor Jim Douglas to require that Vermont’s pension fund managers buy Vermont Housing Finance Agency bonds. The 2006 economically targeted investment policy passed by VPIC requires an annual request for proposals.”VPIC agreed a year and a half ago that, to the extent it can support economic and community development in Vermont without sacrificing investment performance, it makes sense to do so,” said Spaulding. “The proposal to require VPIC to buy the bonds, regardless of whether or not they thought it passed muster from an investment perspective, was rejected. However, I’m hopeful that the VHFA will submit a proposal. If the anticipated returns are appropriate, I am confident VPIC will seriously consider an investment in VHFA bonds.”Economically targeted investments are intended to generate market rate returns, while providing collateral benefits that enhance quality of life and promote economic activity in a targeted area in this case Vermont. Types of investment opportunities that may be appropriate for pension fund investments could include affordable housing, energy efficiency, venture capital, or timber.”VPIC trustees take seriously their responsibility to protect the retirement security of workers and retirees. In that regard, this initiative does not reduce their obligation. The economic or social benefits of a proposal will not justify lower returns or inappropriate levels of risk,” Spaulding explained. “We don’t want to limit the field of investment possibilities, and are hopeful that creative minds will look at our policy and submit innovative proposals that meet our criteria.”Last year, the Vermont Pension Investment Committee agreed to invest up to $2 million in Green Asset Partners, contingent upon certain conditions being met. Green Asset Partners proposes to provide an innovative real estate product which leverages conservation dollars and enhances land protection while striving to meet or exceed the annualized average return for private real assets.Proposals must be submitted to the State Treasurer’s Office by June 25, 2008, at 2 p.m. In order to be considered, proposals must, at a minimum:·Target risk-adjusted, market-rate returns equivalent to or higher than other available investments in a similar asset class;·Provide a substantial, direct, and measurable benefit to economic or community development within the State of Vermont; and·Be managed by an experienced and capable manager in an applicable asset class; no direct investments will be considered.Parties interested in receiving more information on the program should go to the State Treasurer’s web site at www.VermontTreasurer.gov(link is external) or call (802) 828-5197.
It is back to the drawing board for manager Chris Ramsey after embattled QPR fell to an uninspiring defeat at Crystal Palace. “Mathematically of course we’re not safe but we’re in a great position and we would have snapped someone’s hand off to be in this position at this stage, whoever the manager was,” he said. “I said to the players when I arrived to look above because if you look below there is anxiety and pressure. You can’t play like that. “You have to try to get above Newcastle, whoever is above us. We’re above Everton, that was a bit of a goal for us. Can we stay above them? There is plenty of motivations in our group to stay where we want to stay. “I think 11th or 12th is top of the league for this team at the moment for where we are at the moment. I n the summer, if we are clever enough it might not be.” The west Londoners have just five points to show from their last 12 top-flight matches, putting their Premier League status at serious risk. Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Selhurst Park was the latest hammer blow, making it four straight defeats after Ramsey last month oversaw Rangers’ first away win of the campaign. Morale had been boosted by that victory but now they are hurtling towards the Championship, with the first-half capitulation against Palace a particular concern. “We’ll go for it as best we can,” Ramsey said, looking ahead to the final nine matches. “The players are disappointed. They’re still unified in what we’re trying to do and all we can do is keep fighting. “The only thing we can do is go back to the drawing board, there’s nothing else we can do. “I know there are Rangers fans out there whose weekend will have been spoilt by this result. “They live, die and breath football every weekend, and that’s what hurts me the most.” While QPR are staring down the barrel, the Eagles now look all-but certain of avoiding relegation. Alan Pardew has done a remarkable job since taking the reins in January, building an eight-point cushion over the drop zone having arrived with Palace in it. Press Association