March 16, 2009
DiNapoli Unveils Strategy for Investing in Northern Ireland
State Pension Fund Will Invest $30 Million Through New Private Equity Program
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today joined Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness to announce the New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund) will target $30 million for investment in Northern Ireland under a new private equity program.
DiNapoli noted that the investment was the result of an extensive review and due diligence process, and had been in development for several months.
“There are opportunities in Northern Ireland, and we intend to take advantage of those opportunities,” DiNapoli said. “I toured Belfast and Derry last year and I was impressed. Even in the face of today’s challenging economic times, Northern Ireland is an emerging market with a young, highly skilled workforce, excellent transportation and commercial infrastructure, and the kind of business-friendly environment that can foster economic growth.
“In the face of this very difficult investment market, we have to pursue long-term investments that will position the Fund for strong long-range returns. This investment positions the Fund to partner in the opportunities Northern Ireland’s future will bring.”
“I’m delighted to welcome this announcement which I believe is a massive vote of confidence in the peace process by Comptroller DiNapoli,” Deputy First Minister McGuinness said. “This $30 million investment represents the ordinary people of New York taking a stake in the future of the ordinary people of the North of Ireland. The Fund makes the twin aims of tackling depravation and generating wealth for investors and communities alike.”
The early groundwork for this investing program started last May when DiNapoli visited the North of Ireland and attended a forum hosted by Invest Northern Ireland, the nation’s regional economic development agency. The Fund will make its private equity investments through a strategic partnership with Washington, D.C.-based PCG International, which will help manage the Fund’s Emerging Europe Program.
DiNapoli said the Fund should close its initial investment in Northern Ireland in the coming weeks.