Montana Board of Investments’ Director of Private Equity Departs

By David G. Barry

The Montana Board of Investments’ (MBOI) director of private equity has left.

In an automatic email reply, Michael Nguyen said that “after five amazing years with [MBOI], I have made the decision to move on and pursue new endeavors.” He said it was an “honor and pleasure to serve MBOI.”

Nguyen said he would be taking off the rest of the summer and would let contacts know once he’s “landed and settled.”

Nguyen did not immediately respond to a LinkedIn inquiry.

Jon Putnam, MBOI’s chief investment officer, also did not immediately respond to an inquiry about how MBOI was replacing or planning to replace Nguyen. In his e-mail, Nguyen referred MBOI inquiries to Ian Horwood, a private investment analyst who has been with MBOI since January.

Nguyen joined MBOI in 2016 and became director of private equity in 2019.


MBOI handles investing for nine state pension funds as well as a trust fund investment pool and a short-term investment pool. MBOI’s total assets as of June 30 were $25.5 billion, $13.5 billion of which were in the consolidated pension plans.


Private investments – which includes private equity, venture capital, private credit, and passive ETFs – accounts for $2.3 billion, or 17.6%, of the pension funds. In its quarterly report for the period ending June 30, the subcategories of private investments were not broken out.

For the fiscal year ended June 30, the consolidated asset pension pool had a net return of negative 4.4%, beating its benchmark return of negative 9.6%.

Private investments had a net return of 22%, well above its benchmark, which was negative 17.7%.

Domestic equities comprises the largest part of the consolidated pool at 28.3%. The rest is comprised of 16.3% international equities, 13.6% core fixed income, 12.7% real estate, 6% non-core fixed income, 5.5% real assets and 0.3% cash.