KPERS Halting Russian Investments

Trustees who oversee the Kansas Public Employee Retirement System have voted to halt future investments in Russian assets amid the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

While some board members initially pushed for a full divestment, others said they would rather focus on the future, and noted the fund’s current holdings in the country have been largely liquidated anyway, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Kansas has $36 million invested in Russian equities, as of February 25th.

That accounts for about 0.14% of the pension fund’s total investments.

The investments are largely holdings in Russian companies, but are not traded on the country’s stock exchange.

KPERS staff called the move historic, saying it was the first time the board unilaterally acted for external reasons.

In the past, instructions to remove investments from politically objectionable regimes came from the Legislature.

Foreign investors cannot trade in Russia at the moment, making it difficult to sell off any assets the state might hold.