Volunteer Board Recognition
Gene Diedtrich Day: Volunteer Firefighter EMT & SAR pension plan board chairman Gene Diedritch of Newcastle was honored in both the Senate and the House during the 2022 Legislative Session. Gene is completing 60 years of service to the Newcastle Volunteer Fire Department. 60 years! The state has only been around for 132 years... Gene has been in public service for close to half of that! Governor Gordon made a presentation during the last week of Febuary to Gene when the Governor was in Newcastle. March 8, 2022 was then designated as “Gene Diedtrich Day” in Wyoming, by proclamation of the Governor. Thanks Gene!
The fund has suffered some losses in the rocky markets since the first of the year. Nonetheless, at the end of February, we’re down only about -3.85% Year To Date (YTD), which is ahead of our benchmark by about 15 bps. The fund is fairly diversified and some of the team’s “defensive” assets have buffered losses in the stock market. As always, the team is seeking “good assets at good prices” and that is sometimes easier in market downturns.
Russian Investment Exposure
There is a lot of talk in the investment markets about Russian exposure, given Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As a global investor, WRS did have some exposure, but it was very small - about 1/10th of 1% (and probably smaller now). It’s equivalent to saying our 2021 result was only 17.1% instead of 17.2%. The assets are basically frozen right now, with no functioning markets for the securities. Most are held in commingled investments with other investors, so we don’t have unilateral decision authority. International markets are developing paths towards divestiture, which seems to be prudent on a number of grounds (legal, risk and moral). For now, know that our exposure is not material.