Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011 | 4:08 p.m.
CARSON CITY – A newly created board was briefed Tuesday on its duties to spend $50 million in state funds to generate more money for public schools and to invest in new or expanding Nevada businesses.
On the final day of the 2011 Legislature a bill was passed to allow state Treasurer Kate Marshall to take $50 million from $300 million in the state permanent school fund and invest it in private companies.
“This is not a loan, or a grant or a bailout program,” she told the board members.
Assistant Treasurer Mark Mathers said the school fund money is now invested in government securities that earn a low interest rate. This would set up a balanced portfolio with the aim of gaining more interest to go into the school fund.
At least 70 percent would be invested in Nevada companies or those moving to Nevada.
Marshall said a goal is to leverage the money to lure other investors to join in the investments. She said she already has received a call from a company in New York that wants to put $150 million in Northern Nevada.
This new nonprofit board is called the Nevada Capital Investment Corporation and will hire professional fund managers who will seek private companies to invest in.
Nevada and Colorado are the only two states in the West that haven't allowed part of their permanent school fund to be put into private companies.
The fund manager will seek out the potential investments but it will be up to the seven-member board headed by Marshall to make the final decision.
The board members are Jim DeVolld, former president and chief executive officer of First Independent Bank of Nevada; Jerrie Merritt, senior vice president of Bank of Nevada; Christopher Howard of Northstar Investors Principal; David Goldwater, a consultant and formerly in the small mortgage investment business; James York, president and chief executive officer of Valley Bank of Nevada and Robert Lind, managing director of Berkshire Bridge Capital.