New Mexico State Investment Council, Santa Fe, voted Tuesday to increase the amount it invests in New Mexico-based businesses, startup companies and private equity funds that invest in the state, confirmed Charles Wollmann, spokesman for the $26 billion endowment, in an email.
The policy change raises the targeted amount of investment by an additional $200 million for the New Mexico Private Equity Investment Program, growing the long-term investment target to 9% of the $5.5 billion Severance Tax Permanent Fund from 5%.
“By targeting strategic investments in our own backyard, we can achieve positive financial returns while also creating jobs and new industries here in New Mexico,” said New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who also is the SIC chairwoman, in a news release. “Leveraging the significant intellectual and human capital that exists at our national labs, research universities and with entrepreneurs across our state, helps us make smarter and more significant investments in New Mexico and accelerates the expansion of our state’s economy.”
The statutory cap on such investments is currently 9%, but the council also voted Tuesday to seek a legislative change in January that would raise the cap to 11% of the STPF.
The SIC has historically invested $360 million indirectly into 73 New Mexico companies dating back to 1993. The SIC expects to make private equity program commitments of $75 million to $125 million in the 2020 calendar year.
The SIC had $451.1 million in such state-based investments, or 8.3% of the STPF, as of July 31, documents from the endowment show. Of this, $412.5 million (7.6% of the STPF) were in New Mexico private equity funds, while $38.7 million (0.7% of the STPF) were in the New Mexico Small Business Investment Corp.