Treasurer Michael Frerichs is the state’s Chief Investment Officer and Chief Banking Officer. He oversees an investment portfolio totaling approximately $26 billion (as of June 2016). These investments are spread over a variety of important programs, including, but not limited to:
State Portfolio – As the state’s top banker, the Treasurer is charged with providing treasury, cash management, and investment support to Illinois government agencies, boards and commissions in a manner that provides the most advantageous solution to their individual needs. The Treasurer’s Office manages the State Portfolio, with assets of approximately $12-$14 billion, providing the necessary liquidity to meet the state’s daily obligations while investing remaining funds in authorized short/long-term investment opportunities.
College Savings Program – The Treasurer’s Office administers two Illinois 529 college savings plans: Bright Start and Bright Directions. These programs together represent approximately $8 billion in investments. Both investment portfolios are designed as “qualified tuition programs” under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. Under the Illinois 529 college savings plans, investments grow tax-free as long as withdrawals are used to pay for higher education expenses (e.g., tuition, fees, books, room and board).
The Illinois Funds – The Illinois General Assembly created the first local government investment pool in 1975 so communities statewide could invest their money together to earn greater returns. Today, the pool is called The Illinois Funds, and its portfolio holds approximately $5 billion in assets. The Illinois Funds' is designed to ensure the safety of principal, provide liquidity to pay obligations, and provide the highest investment return for the state using authorized investment instruments. With the additional funds earned for communities, it provides more support, services, and stability for local families.
Technology Development Accounts – Within the State Portfolio are Technology Development Accounts, which allow the Treasurer to segregate a portion of the investment portfolio (limited to 3% or less) to provide capital to technology businesses seeking to locate, expand, or remain in Illinois by placing money with Illinois investment firms.