Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) — North Carolina's Janet Cowell has some unusual qualities for a state treasurer: For one thing, she can say "running dog of a capitalist" in Mandarin. She's also poised to voluntarily surrender her status as one of four officials nationwide with sole control over state pension investments.

The 45-year-old Democrat, a former equities analyst, this month appointed a commission to evaluate how investments are made for North Carolina's $83 billion public pension, the nation's 10th largest. The board may recommend in April removing Cowell as sole trustee, replacing her with a panel or another model, according to Cowell. The system is the third-best funded among states, according to Morningstar Inc., and the Republican- dominated legislature would have to approve changes to its governance. Connecticut, New York and Michigan have similar models for oversight.

Once reliant on mills and agriculture, North Carolina's economy is now tied more to higher education, technology and finance, including Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp., the second-biggest U.S. bank. The state's municipal debt has earned 1.8 percent this year through Jan. 29, compared with 2.1 percent for the entire market, according to Standard & Poor's indexes.

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