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SWIB Makes Investments in Wisconsin Businesses

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Starting and growing a successful business is not easy. It may start with an idea, but between that idea and the goal is a great deal of planning and hard work to develop a blueprint for success.

Wisconsin has a long history of entrepreneurs who have taken their ideas and plans and grown them into thriving businesses. Some businesses are small and employ just a handful of people, while others have grown into multi-billion dollar corporations that do business in all four corners of the globe. The State of Wisconsin Investment Board is proud to have been part of the blueprints for success for many of those businesses.

Through targeted and strategic investments, SWIB has been able to help several businesses across the state write success stories that have benefited Wisconsin's economy. At the same time, those investments have generated solid returns with acceptable levels of risk for the trust funds SWIB manages, including those of the Wisconsin Retirement System.

SWIB has made significant investments in Wisconsin-based companies. As of June 30, 2016, SWIB had total investments of almost $17 billion in companies with some level of employment and operations in the state. In the last five years, new investments in Wisconsin companies totaled over $997 million, with projections for new investments over the next five years to reach as much as $1.6 billion.

But it is more than just Wisconsin businesses that have benefitted from the significant commitment SWIB has made to the state. The solid investment returns SWIB has realized have helped fuel one of the only nearly 100% funded public pension plans in the country. One reason the WRS is well funded is investment earnings: these account for approximately 75% of the total income of the WRS over the last 10 years.

SWIB's impact goes beyond investments. SWIB's professional investment staff is active in Wisconsin's venture capital and small business development. In addition to actively marketing its debt financing portfolio to Wisconsin companies, SWIB is a sponsor of several venture capital events and programs such as the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, BioForward's Annual Meeting, and the Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce Pressure Chamber event. SWIB partners with early-stage entrepreneurial business incubators such as gener8tor. SWIB staff also works to connect small businesses with financing options and available business support services.

SWIB is a unique asset and a valuable partner that provides a strong, steady economic pillar for the people and the state of Wisconsin. SWIB will continue to search for opportunities that provide positive investment returns for the trust funds it manages while improving the state's economy at the same time. By building on a long history of identifying and investing in promising state companies, SWIB looks to continue to be part of the blueprints for success for many Wisconsin businesses.

For more information about SWIB's investments in Wisconsin, read our publication, Goals for Investing in Wisconsin.