BILLINGS — Members of the Montana Board of Investments have approved raises for some of its top personnel over the objections of the panel's former chairman.

The salary increases include an 8.5 percent hike for Executive Director David Ewer and an almost 10 percent increase for Chief Investment Officer Clifford Sheets. Six others will receive raises of 5.5 or 8.5 percent.

The nine-member board manages Montana's $13 billion investment portfolio, including the pension funds for public employees.

Board member Karl Englund of Missoula says the raises make up for several years of frozen salaries and will move the board's compensation closer to market averages.

Former board chairman Gary Buchannan of Billings cast the lone dissenting vote Wednesday. He says the board's investments have underperformed even as costs have increased sharply.

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idiot state

Is this the same pension board that's managed Montana's investments so well and responsible for Montana's $4 billion or so in unfunded liabilities? (one of the reasons in that crooked state) While some neighboring states, say, for example, South Dakota, have fully funded pension systems, Montana, yawn, is an underperformer in yet another area..

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