Contact: Schorr Johnson (919) 807-3132

Cowell, NC Pension Fund Announce Strategic Partnership with Durham-based Piedmont Investment Advisors
Raleigh, N.C.—North Carolina State Treasurer Janet Cowell announced today that the state’s $90 billion public pension fund has agreed to a new strategic partnership with Durham-based Piedmont Investment Advisors. Piedmont will train and help North Carolina Retirement Systems staff build the technical capability to internally manage equity index fund holdings. The pension fund allocated $3 billion to be passively managed by the firm’s quantitative equity team led by Sumali Sanyal.

“I am pleased to announce this strategic partnership with a North Carolina-based firm,” Cowell said. “This partnership with Piedmont gives us a chance to work with local professionals with a good track record as we move to manage more of the pension internally. It’s a plus that they’re a diverse, minority-owned firm.”

Piedmont will manage the new $3 billion allocation in a low-cost index fund strategy, while working collaboratively with the Department of State Treasurer to provide localized hands-on training on internal equity trading and advice on efficiently building a cost-effective internal equity trading infrastructure.  Training will be provided by a seasoned Piedmont team with an average of 20 years of investment management experience.  North Carolina expects to transition portions of the Piedmont allocation to internal management over the next several years as training is completed and requisite systems implementations are completed.
Established in 2000 by Isaac Green, Piedmont, a North Carolina based Historically Underutilized Business (HUB), is the 12th largest of 67 independent investment managers listed with Minority Manager Database (MMD) WebAccess for the period ending 12/31/14.  The firm currently manages over $5 billion in assets and employs a staff of 21, which includes 11 partners. The Treasurer has had statutory authority to manage equities internally for many years, but was not appropriated positions by the General Assembly to implement the strategy until September 2014.


The North Carolina Retirement Systems, the formal name for the pension fund, is the tenth largest public pension fund in the country. It provides retirement benefits and savings for more than 900,000 North Carolinians, including teachers, state employees, firefighters, police officers and other public workers. For more information, visit