North Dakota Trust Lands Searching for a CIO

By David G. Barry


The North Dakota State Department of Trust Lands is gearing up to find the next head of its investment team.


The spot is now vacant after Michael Shackelford became the chief investment officer of the $17 billion Public Employees Retirement Association of New Mexico (PERA). Shackelford held the title of director of investments for three years.

Joseph A. Heringer, the Trust Lands’ Commissioner, tells Markets Group that the $7 billion sovereign wealth fund is into its due diligence process regarding job description and salary range and hopes to post the position later this month. The Trust Lands also has made the decision to retitle the position to chief investment officer “as that is really what it is and I think there was confusion about the exact role/responsibilities with the prior title of investment director,” he said.

The Trust Lands has not named an interim CIO, but Heringer said he is taking a “more active role” with the investment operation and is working closely with the investment team and consultant RVK “to ensure continuity and effective investment management.”

Heringer, an attorney, became commissioner in February. He previously had been a senior wealth manager for Bravera Wealth.

The Department of Trust Lands is governed by the Land Board and is responsible for management and oversight of educational trust funds, mineral acres, and other assets for the benefit of public schools and institutions in North Dakota.


The department has approximately 30 full-time team members with a biennial operating budget of $8 million. It administers approximately $7 billion of financial asset investments, over 706,600 surface acres and over 2.5 million mineral acres. The department also administers the North Dakota Unclaimed Property statutes and operates the Energy Infrastructure and Impact Office.