Legislation Would Ban Institutional Investments in Russia

The proposed IMPAIR Russia Act would prevent investment firms, insurance companies and fiduciaries subject to ERISA from investing in Russian entities.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R- Florida, has introduced a bill that would prohibit institutional investors from making investments in Russian securities.

The Instituting Measures to Protect American Investors and Retirees from Russia Act, or IMPAIR Russia Act, would prevent investment firms, insurance companies and fiduciaries subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 from investing in Russian entities. 

The bill defines a “Russian entity’’ as any entity organized under the laws of the Russian Federation or otherwise subject to the jurisdiction of the Government of the Russian Federation. The bill stipulates that anyone who violates or attempts to violate the act will be subject to the penalties established in the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

“Many Americans do not even realize that fund managers have placed their money in these Russian companies,” Rubio said in a statement. “Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has left the Russian economy in shambles. We need to minimize the resultant harm to Americans, including teachers and retirees, who have pensions and retirement accounts invested in Russian securities.”

On February 24, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed economic sanctions targeting the core infrastructure of the Russian financial system, including all of Russia’s largest financial institutions and the ability of state-owned and private entities to raise capital. It also barred Russia from the global financial system.

And on March 8, President Joe Biden announced the U.S. was banning all imports of Russian oil, gas and other energy sources.

“We are enforcing the most significant package of economic sanctions in history, and it’s causing significant damage to Russia’s economy,” Biden said in a statement. “It has caused the Russian economy to, quite frankly, crater.”

This article was originally published on the website of CIO, PLANSPONSOR’s sister publication.