13 months after divesting from BlackRock, WV Treasury Investments top $10B, beat BR, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and more

22 February 2023- State Treasurer Riley Moore today announced the West Virginia Board of Treasury Investments, which manages the short-term operating funds for the state and local governments, outperformed other major private money market funds during the recent quarter – beating the performance of funds run by BlackRock and other firms that last year were prohibited from doing business with the state due to their boycotts of fossil fuel industries.

“Our latest performance clearly shows that when you focus on generating the best financial returns instead of social change, you will produce the best outcomes for your clients and investors,” Treasurer Moore said. “The fact that the West Virginia Board of Treasury Investments is now outperforming the largest Wall Street firms shows that this industry-wide worship of ESG is a farce that’s robbing returns and prosperity from their clients.”

The West Virginia Board of Treasury Investments’ state Money Market Pool has consistently received the top ‘AAAm’ rating from Standard & Poor’s.

According to an analysis of other private AAAm-rated money market funds, the West Virginia Money Market Pool’s 3.84-percent quarterly net yield for the fourth quarter of 2022 outperformed all the leading First Tier Institutional private money market funds – including those run by BlackRock, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley.

“When we became the first state to divest from BlackRock last year, critics from the woke left said we were going to cost our taxpayers millions in higher fees and lost investment returns by not using their favored firms – they were wrong,” Treasurer Moore said. “Not only did we not lose money, our people came out on top.”

Treasurer Moore has been an outspoken critic of the financial industry’s manipulation of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards to promote social causes favored by a select elite rather than sound, objective financial metrics.

Last January, the West Virginia Board of Treasury Investments, which is chaired by Treasurer Moore, announced it had divested from BlackRock, pulling funds from an account that had seen roughly $1.5 billion of inflows and outflows in the prior year.

Later in 2022, Treasurer Moore proposed and the Legislature passed Senate Bill 262, which created a Restricted Financial Institutions List of firms found to be boycotting fossil fuel industries and prohibiting them from entering banking contracts with the State Treasurer’s Office. BlackRock, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co. were placed on that list last July.

In addition to outperforming the broader market, the Board of Treasury Investments’ assets under management have surged to a new record, topping the $10 billion mark for the first time in state history as of the close of January.

“The BTI continues to see large inflows not just from the record surpluses created by our state’s booming economy and fossil fuel severance taxes, but because more city and county governments are transferring their funds to us to manage,” Treasurer Moore said. “This again proves that West Virginia and our energy industries are a great place to invest.”

In addition to Senate Bill 262, Treasurer Moore has worked with lawmakers to pass other reforms that have benefited the BTI’s investment options. In 2021, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 297 which expanded the Board’s investment options and eliminated a statutory requirement that 15-percent of its funds be invested in U.S. Treasury securities.

According to BTI Executive Director Kara Hughes, this reform alone resulted in an additional $3.2 million in returns last year for the state and local governments.