Gottlieb hired as Chief Investment Officer for PF Investments

Daniel Gottlieb Chief Investment Officer Southern Ute Indian Tribe
Jeremy Wade Shockley | SU Drum archive

Daniel Gottlieb takes on a new role as the Chief Investment Officer for the Tribe’s Permanent Fund Investments (PFI) Department. The new position was created during last year’s budget process. As the Tribe increased the complexity of the Permanent Fund Investments portfolio, the Investment Committee felt that it was important to have a bigger and better team running the investment portfolio, previously managed by a two-person team – Ryan Erickson and Daniel Gottlieb. The duo had been running the endowment since 2016, when Gottlieb was first hired on as the Director of Investments.

Last year, Tribal Council created two new positions under the Permanent Fund Investments department. They hired Shawn Dearey in November as the Investment Operations Manager, and Gottlieb was hired in mid-January as Chief Investment Officer – officially starting the position on Jan. 18.

“The new job was created essentially because we are growing the department and doing more complicated kinds of investing, Gottlieb explained. “The investments are doing well, so we are managing more money than we were in the past. We are also putting more complicated and longer-term investments into the portfolio.”

Permanent Fund Investments was part of the financial plan, dating back to the time when the initial financial plan was created. The idea was to have a pool of investments that would be used to support the costs of running the tribal government operations. 

“The forward thinking of Chairman Burch and Tribal Council at that time, was that the energy revenues would not last forever,” Gottlieb said. “Therefore, the endowment, which is now called Permanent Fund Investments, was created to invest the Tribe’s money into a diversified portfolio, so that there would always be financial resources to support the operations of the tribal government. The Permanent Fund endowment is now being used for the purpose it was created 20 years ago.”

PFI has always invested in public equities, bonds, and diversifying assets, and continues to do so. The department is now focused on adding a new type of investment called private investments, which includes: Private real assets (real estate, energy and infrastructure), private equity (directly buying operating businesses through investment), and private debt (a broad category: making loans to individuals, private businesses.)

“What differentiates the private asset category is that they do not trade on [stock] exchanges. It’s a long-term process,” Gottlieb explained. “These funds generally take five to ten years to play out.”

“The reason you want more staff looking at private investments is that we need to do more work on the front end before the Tribe commits to very long-term investments like these,” he said.

Gottlieb and his team have hit the ground running. PFI works directly under the Investment Committee, with offices in the Leonard C. Burch building.

“I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to manage the Tribe’s investments over the past five years, and my family and I are grateful to be able to live in such a beautiful part of the country,” Gottlieb said. “I want to thank the Investment Committee and Tribal Council for their support as I take on this new role.  Managing investments through the pandemic has been a challenge, but the PFI team is energized and excited, and we’re working hard to find interesting new investment ideas and developing the portfolio to safeguard the Tribe’s financial future.”

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