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      State commission votes to create investment firm

      The South Carolina commission that oversees public employees' retirement system has taken an initial step to invest up to $15 million through a new, government-owned investment management company.

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The South Carolina commission that oversees public employees' retirement system has taken an initial step to invest up to $15 million through a new, government-owned investment management company.

      The state Retirement System Investment Commission voted unanimously Thursday to proceed with the unique investment method.

      According to a consultant's report, the plan could save the state about $500 million in management fees over the next decade. The newly created company would invest in private capital, such as real estate.

      Treasurer Converse Chellis says the idea is to increase the state's return on investment and to reduce the potential cost of retirees' pensions to taxpayers and employees.

      But Gov. Mark Sanford says it could be a risky scheme.

      (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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