Reflecting the overwhelming support for the people of Ukraine, Chester County officials today confirmed that all Russian investments held in the County’s pension fund are being pulled.
The money being withdrawn comes from the Vanguard EM index fund, part of Chester County government’s pension fund portfolio. The fund includes an approximately 3% Russian exposure, worth about $860,000 as of January 31.
Chester County Pension Board members comprise Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell and Michelle Kichline, as well as County Controller Margaret Reif and County Treasurer Patricia Maisano.
“We feel compelled to join the world in condemning the unprovoked Russian aggression, and we certainly do not want a penny of Chester County taxpayer money supporting the Putin regime,” said Commissioners’ Chair Moskowitz. “The whole idea that he can go in and disrupt what a democratic country has built is senseless, useless and sad. We join with those who want to prevent this invasion from spreading any further.”
The money will officially be removed from the index on Monday March 7, completely disinvesting the County in Russia.
“We often have to make tough decisions as commissioners, but this was not one of them,” said Commissioner Maxwell. “Frankly, it might come as a surprise to many people that we have even these small holdings in Russia, but before their government’s recent outrageous actions, they were part of the world’s economy. I hope our municipalities will examine their pension funds and other investments and also divest their Russian assets.”
“I firmly believe that the citizens of Chester County will fully endorse the step we took today,” said Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline, who has been wearing a blue and yellow ribbon in solidarity with Ukraine. “I’ve been going to events since the Russian invasion occurred and folks are genuinely heartbroken for the Ukrainian people. They have been helping in any way they can from providing supplies and money, to prayer. We all want to see an end to this conflict as soon as possible”