Statement on Renaissance Technologies investment (Oct. 20, 2017)
The recent story in Think Progress concerning MSU’s investment strategy is misleading and purposely confusing. MSU is not financing any white nationalist organization or individual. We also do not have a financial position in any media outlet, Breitbart or otherwise.
The MSU Investment Office is responsible for managing the long-term assets of the university through the endowment fund, and MSU invests in hundreds of different financial vehicles. One of those platforms is Renaissance Technologies, a quantitative hedge fund founded in the early 1980s by James Simons, a mathematician, substantial supporter of medical research (specifically into autism spectrum disorders) and major contributor to the Democratic Party. Renaissance Technologies’ partners are made up primarily of other academics with non-financial backgrounds. In this instance, Renaissance Technology was hired as a vendor to invest money on global stocks.
MSU hires investment managers based on their long-term expected performance and fit for the overall portfolio. It should be noted we do not consider the personal political opinions and private activities of individual employees when making decisions. It also should be noted that those individual employees are not directly receiving any monies from MSU.
To attempt to draw a line, as the Think Progress story did, from MSU’s investments to financing white nationalism is misleading and irresponsible.
--Jason Cody, MSU spokesperson