State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli released an update on the progress of the state pension funds in-state investments. Under DiNapoli's watch, the total invested in New York based companies has grown to nearly $700 million and the comptroller says those stocks are paying off for both the state and the businesses involved. Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman explains.
NEW YORK STATE -- Private equity investment is usually a game for Wall Street. But Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is taking one billion of the state's common retirement fund to invest in New York-based companies he says have already created 4,000 jobs.
DiNapoli said, "We're very pleased with the fact that we're not only making money, but it does have a benefit in terms of local economies across our state."
The state's $160 billion pension fund has already invested in 252 New York companies that make everything from software to medical devices. In essence, the pension fund becomes a part owner of the business and reaps the profits of a successful investment. In the last five years, the investments have netted the fund $293 million from 71 different companies, a generous rate of return for the business world. DiNapoli says there is still roughly $400 million left in the investment pool.
"We're invested in China and in Europe and in the Americas and in Africa and in states all across the union. My charge to the team though is to be sure we're not overlooking great investment opportunities right here in New York State," said DiNapoli.
One of those companies is IT provider Autotask based in East Greenbush. Company officials say they were able to settle in the Capital Region, thanks to the fund investing $6.3 million.
"We wouldn't have this business here today without that investment, pure and simple," Autotask CEO Mark Cattini said.
The company has been able to use the investment to expand by hiring employees and build their business internationally.
Cattini said, "We've used the money for a whole series of things. Hiring people, investing in capital equipment, hiring internationally, building software engineering, building our intellectual property. It's for everything. It's right across the board for what we call general corporate purposes. But without it we wouldn't have had the business we would have to go somewhere else."
DiNapoli is considered a key ally of labor organizations and his 2010 Republican opponent, Harry Wilson, came from the business world of corporate restructuring who made DiNapoli's lack of business experience an issue in the campaign.