The West Virginia Investment Management Board (WVIMB) was created by action of the Legislature, and the resulting law is cited as the West Virginia Investment Management Board Act (the Act) [West Virginia Code §12-6-1 et seq.] The legislative findings, recorded in the first section of the Act, make it clear that the WVIMB was created to be a professional, apolitical, financial management organization dedicated to the interests of the State’s teachers, public employees and workers in general, other State funds, and the fiscal health of the State. Specifically, the legislative findings set forth the purpose of the Act, including giving the WVIMB “…the authority to develop, implement and maintain an efficient and modern system for the investment and management of the State’s money.” In order to accomplish this purpose, this section further states that the WVIMB must “…operate as an independent board with its own full-time staff of financial professionals immune to changing political climates….”[West Virginia Code §12-6-1a(b)]
The Act also mandates that the WVIMB manage the assets of the Defined Benefit Plans for Teachers, Deputy Sheriffs, Public Employees, State Police, Division of Public Safety, and Judges; along with the Workers’ Compensation Fund, the Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis Fund, and the Wildlife Endowment Fund; as well as other State plans or funds which may be added from time to time, Further, these assets are to be held as irrevocable trust funds to be used exclusively for the benefit of these plans, workers and funds. [West Virginia Code §12-6-9a, Trust indenture] For current list of entities investing with the WVIMB, see Who We Serve.
The standard of care for investments mandated by the Act is that codified in the ”Uniform Prudent Investor Act”, Article 6C of Chapter 44 of the West Virginia Code. The WVIMB is further subject to the following requirements:
- Trustees shall discharge their duties with respect to the 401(a) Plans for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to participants and their beneficiaries;
- Trustees shall diversify fund investments so as to minimize the risk of large losses unless, under the circumstances, it is clearly prudent not to do so;
- Trustees shall defray reasonable expenses of investing and operating the funds under management;
- Trustees shall discharge their duties in accordance with the trust documents and instruments governing the trusts or other funds under the management insofar as the documents and instruments are consistent with provisions of this Article; and
- The duties of the Board apply only with respect to those assets deposited with or otherwise held by it.
[West Virginia Code §12-6-11]
West Virginia Code §12-6-1 et seq., West Virginia Investment Management Board
West Virginia Code §44-6C-1 et seq., Uniform Prudent Investor Act