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.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.