FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January, 28 2020
Angie Poss, Assistant Commissioner of Communications
SANTA FE, NM – Today Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard was unanimously appointed as the next Vice-Chair of the State Investment Council (SIC). She will be the first elected official to serve in the Vice-Chair position in recent memory as well as the first Land Commissioner. The Vice-Chair position was previously held by SIC member Peter Frank.
This is the first time that both the Chair and Vice-Chair positions on the SIC have been held by women, with Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham at the helm of New Mexico’s $27 billion permanent endowment. The SIC is tasked with managing the investment strategy for various constitutionally created funds including the Land Grant Permanent Fund, the Severance Tax Permanent Fund, the Tobacco Settlement Permanent Fund, and the Water Trust Fund. The largest of the funds, the Land Grand Permanent Fund, is comprised of contributions from the State Land Office leasing activities.
“Commissioner Garcia Richard is a valuable member of the council and I applaud her selection as Vice-Chair,” Governor Lujan Grisham said. “She already plays a key role in the stewardship of our state’s great wealth, and I look forward to her continued contributions, now in a leadership role, to the strategic and even-handed management of the State Investment Council.”
“This is an exciting new role to take on and I’m thankful for Governor Lujan Grisham’s faith in my ability to steer the ship alongside her,” Commissioner Garcia Richard said.
“As the head of the agency that provides the sole source of investment income to the Land Grant Permanent Fund, I aim to use this role as another mechanism to advance the interests of the beneficiaries of our state trust land – our public schools, hospitals, universities, and other important public institutions. It’s a perfect fit.”
In FY 2019, the Land Office raised a record $1.18 billion from various leasing activity on state trust land including oil and gas operations, renewable energy projects, agriculture, and other business development. The SIC recently announced that these Land Office investments contributed heavily to their own record combined distribution of $1.1 billion from the Land Grant Permanent Fund and the Severance Tax Permanent Fund. The SIC report hinted at more good news on the horizon.
“In December of 2019, the Land Office sent $94.5 million to the SIC. That is more in one month than we’ve ever seen, so we’re trending toward another record breaking year for New Mexico,” Commissioner Garcia Richard added. “These trends are essential to grow our investments – both in the bank through our endowment funds which give us the ability to build for the future, and in real-time monetary investments that we send to our public institutions every year to help fund our government and move our state forward.”