PUBLIC EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT SYSTEM INVESTMENT ACT (EXCERPT)
Act 314 of 1965
38.1133d Definitions; scrutinized companies; identification by fiduciaries; assembling scrutinized companies list; update by fiduciary; procedure; report; effectiveness of section; conditions; liability of fiduciary; scrutinized company affirmatively excluded from federal sanctions; effect; severability.
(1) As used in this section:
(a) "Active business operations" means all business operations that are not inactive business operations.
(b) "Business operations" means engaging in commerce in any form in Iran, including by acquiring, developing, maintaining, owning, selling, possessing, leasing, or operating equipment, facilities, personnel, products, services, personal property, real property, or any other apparatus of business or commerce.
(c) "Company" means any sole proprietorship, organization, association, corporation, partnership, joint venture, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability company, or other entity or business association, including all wholly owned subsidiaries, majority-owned subsidiaries, parent companies, or affiliates of such entities or business associations, that exists for profit-making purposes.
(d) "Direct holdings" in a company means all securities of that company held directly by the fiduciary or in an account or fund in which the fiduciary owns all shares or interests.
(e) "Fiduciary" means the Michigan legislative retirement system board of trustees for the Tier 1 plan for the Michigan legislative retirement system created by the Michigan legislative retirement system act, 1957 PA 261, MCL 38.1001 to 38.1080, and the treasurer of this state for the retirement systems created under all of the following acts:
(i) The state police retirement act of 1986, 1986 PA 182, MCL 38.1601 to 38.1648.
(ii) The Tier 1 retirement plan available under the judge's retirement act of 1992, 1992 PA 234, MCL 38.2101 to 38.2670.
(iii) The Tier 1 retirement plan available under the state employees retirement act, 1943 PA 240, MCL 38.1 to 38.69.
(iv) The public school employees retirement act of 1979, 1980 PA 300, MCL 38.1301 to 38.1408.
(f) "Government of Iran" means the government of Iran, its instrumentalities, and companies owned or controlled by the government of Iran.
(g) "Inactive business operations" means the mere continued holding or renewal of rights to property previously operated for the purpose of generating revenues but not presently deployed for such purpose.
(h) "Indirect holdings" in a company means all securities of that company held in an account or fund, such as a mutual fund or other commingled fund, managed by 1 or more persons not employed by the fiduciary, in which the fiduciary owns shares or interests together with other investors not subject to the provisions of this act.
(i) "Iran" means the Islamic republic of Iran.
(j) "Military equipment" means weapons, arms, military supplies, and equipment that readily may be used for military purposes, including, but not limited to, radar systems or military-grade transport vehicles.
(k) "Mineral extraction activities" includes exploring, extracting, processing, transporting, or wholesale selling or trading of elemental minerals or associated metal alloys or oxides, including gold, copper, chromium, chromite, diamonds, iron, iron ore, silver, tungsten, uranium, and zinc, as well as facilitating such activities, including by providing supplies or services in support of such activities.
(l) "Oil-related activities" includes, but is not limited to, owning rights to oil blocks; exporting, extracting, producing, refining, processing, exploring for, transporting, selling, or trading of oil; constructing, maintaining, or operating a pipeline, refinery, or other oil-field infrastructure; and facilitating such activities, including by providing supplies or services in support of such activities, provided that the mere retail sale of gasoline and related consumer products shall not be considered oil-related activities.
(m) "Petroleum resources" means petroleum or natural gas.
(n) "Power production activities" means any business operation that involves a project commissioned by the government of Iran whose purpose is to facilitate power generation and delivery, including, but not limited to, establishing power-generating plants or hydroelectric dams, selling or installing components for the project, providing service contracts related to the installation or maintenance of the project, as well as facilitating such activities, including by providing supplies or services in support of such activities.
(o) "Scrutinized company" means any company not described in subsection (10) that has business operations that involve contracts with or provision of supplies or services to the government of Iran; companies in which the government of Iran has any direct or indirect equity share, consortiums, or projects commissioned by the government of Iran; or companies involved in consortiums and projects commissioned by the government of Iran and 1 or more of the following:
(i) More than 10% of the company's total revenues or assets are linked to Iran, and involve oil-related activities or mineral-extraction activities, and the company has failed to take substantial action.
(ii) The company has, with actual knowledge, on or after August 5, 1996, made an investment of $20,000,000.00 or more, or any combination of investments of at least $10,000,000.00 each, which in the aggregate equals or exceeds $20,000,000.00 in any 12-month period, and which directly or significantly contributes to the enhancement of Iran's ability to develop petroleum resources.
(p) "Substantial action" means adopting, publicizing, and implementing a formal plan to cease scrutinized business operations within 1 year and to refrain from any new business operations.
(2) Within 90 days after the effective date of the amendatory act that added this section, the fiduciary shall make its best efforts to identify all scrutinized companies in which the fiduciary has direct or indirect holdings or could possibly have such holdings in the future. The efforts may include 1 or more of the following:
(a) Reviewing and relying, as appropriate in the fiduciary's judgment, on publicly available information regarding companies with business operations in Iran, including information provided by nonprofit organizations, research firms, international organizations, and government entities.
(b) Contacting asset managers contracted by the fiduciary that invest in companies with business operations in Iran.
(c) Contacting other institutional investors that have divested from or engaged with companies that have business operations in Iran.
(d) Reviewing the laws of the United States regarding the levels of business activity that would cause application of sanctions against companies conducting business or investing in countries that are designated state sponsors of terror.
(3) At the end of the 90-day period or by the first meeting of the fiduciary following the 90-day period described in subsection (2), the fiduciary shall assemble all scrutinized companies identified into a scrutinized companies list.
(4) The fiduciary shall update the scrutinized companies list on a quarterly basis based on evolving information from, among other sources, those sources listed in subsection (2). The fiduciary shall make the scrutinized companies list freely available to the fiduciaries of other public retirement systems located in this state if making the list available does not violate any agreements with third parties or reveal proprietary information of a third party.
(5) The fiduciary shall adhere to the following procedure for companies on the scrutinized companies list:
(a) The fiduciary shall immediately determine the companies on the scrutinized companies list in which the fiduciary oversees pursuant to its responsibilities as described in subsection (1)(e).
(b) For each company identified in subdivision (a) with only inactive business operations, not later than 60 days after the identification of the company, the fiduciary shall send a written notice informing the company of this section and encourage the company to continue to refrain from initiating active business operations in Iran until it is able to avoid scrutinized business operations. The fiduciary shall continue the correspondence on a semiannual basis.
(c) For each company newly identified in subdivision (a) with active business operations, not later than 60 days after the company is newly identified, the fiduciary shall send a written notice informing the company of its scrutinized company status and that it may become subject to divestment by the fiduciary. The notice shall offer the company the opportunity to clarify its Iran-related activities and shall encourage the company, within 90 days, to either cease its scrutinized business operations through substantial action or convert such operations to inactive business operations in order to avoid qualifying for divestment by the fiduciary.
(d) If, within 90 days following the fiduciary's first engagement with a company pursuant to subdivision (c), that company announces a plan of substantial action, the company shall be removed from the scrutinized companies list and this section shall cease to apply to it unless it fails to implement its plan of substantial action within the designated time frame. If, within 90 days following the fiduciary's first engagement, the company converts its active business operations to inactive business operations, the company shall be subject to this section.
(e) If, after 90 days following the fiduciary's first engagement with a company pursuant to subdivision (c), the company continues to have active business operations, and only while the company continues to have active business operations, the fiduciary shall sell, redeem, divest, or withdraw all publicly traded securities of the company, according to the following schedule:
(i) At least 50% of the assets shall be removed from the fiduciary's assets under management within 9 months after the company's most recent appearance on the scrutinized companies list.
(ii) 100% of the assets shall be removed from the fiduciary's assets under management within 15 months after the company's most recent appearance on the scrutinized companies list.
(f) Except as provided in subdivisions (g) and (h), at no time shall the fiduciary acquire securities of companies on the scrutinized companies list that have active business operations.
(g) No company which the United States government affirmatively declares to be excluded from its present or any future federal sanctions regime relating to Iran shall be subject to divestment or investment prohibition pursuant to subdivisions (e) and (f).
(h) Subdivisions (e) and (f) shall not apply to indirect holdings in actively managed investment funds. For purposes of this section, actively managed investment funds include private equity funds and publicly traded funds. Before the fiduciary invests in a new private equity fund or publicly traded fund that is not in the fiduciary's portfolio as of the effective date of the amendatory act that added this section, the fiduciary shall perform due diligence to prevent investment in any private equity fund or publicly traded fund where the offering memorandum or prospectus identifies a purpose of the private equity fund or publicly traded fund as investing in scrutinized companies with active business operations in Iran. The fiduciary is not required to identify holdings in private equity funds or submit engagement letters to those funds. If the manager of a publicly traded, actively managed fund that is in the fiduciary's portfolio on the effective date of the amendatory act that added this section creates a similar publicly traded, actively managed fund with indirect holdings devoid of identified scrutinized companies with scrutinized active business operations as defined in this section, the fiduciary shall replace all applicable investments with investments in the similar fund in an expedited time frame consistent with prudent investment standards.
(6) The fiduciary shall file a publicly available report to the legislature that includes the scrutinized companies list within 30 days after the list is created. Annually thereafter, the fiduciary shall file a publicly available report to the legislature that includes all of the following:
(a) A summary of correspondence with companies engaged by the fiduciary under this section.
(b) All investments sold, redeemed, divested, or withdrawn in compliance with this section.
(c) All prohibited investments under this section.
(d) Any progress made under subsection (5)(h).
(7) This section is no longer effective upon the occurrence of 1 or more of the following:
(a) The congress or president of the United States affirmatively and unambiguously states, through legislation, executive order, or written certification from the president to congress, that the government of Iran has ceased to acquire weapons of mass destruction and support international terrorism.
(b) The United States revokes all sanctions imposed against the government of Iran.
(c) The congress or president of the United States affirmatively and unambiguously states, through legislation, executive order, or written certification from the president to congress, that mandatory divestment of the type provided for in this section interferes with the conduct of United States foreign policy.
(8) With respect to actions taken in compliance with this section, including all good faith determinations regarding companies as required by this section, the fiduciary shall be exempt from any conflicting statutory or common law obligations, including any obligations in respect to choice of asset managers, investment funds, or investments for the fiduciary's securities portfolios.
(9) The fiduciary, members of an investment advisory committee, and any person with decision-making authority with regard to investments of the fiduciary shall not be held liable for any action undertaken for the purpose of complying with or executing the mandates required under this section.
(10) Scrutinized company does not include a company that the federal government has affirmatively excluded from federal sanctions for business the scrutinized company conducts relating to Iran, or that has consistently obtained applicable licenses or approvals to conduct transactions with Iran. If the fiduciary becomes aware at any time that a company that has not been affirmatively excluded from federal sanctions for business it conducts relating to Iran and has not received from the United States government applicable licenses or approvals to conduct transactions with Iran, that company is immediately subject to subsection (5).
(11) If any provision, section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this legislation or its application to any person or circumstance is found to be invalid, illegal, unenforceable, or unconstitutional, the same is hereby declared to be severable and the balance of this legislation shall remain effective and functional notwithstanding such invalidity, illegality, unenforceability, or unconstitutionality.
History: Add. 2008, Act 232, Imd. Eff. July 17, 2008
© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan