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Lafayette County $20M Trust Fund Up 3.4 Percent Since January

By Alyssa Schnugg
News editor

Lafayette County’s $20 million trust fund from the sale of the old Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi hospital in 2012 held steady, gaining slighting in the third quarter of 2019.

Steven Sansom, CEO and founder of Green Square asset management firm that manages the trust fund, presented the third-quarter report to the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors Monday.

The firm adjusted the fund’s allocation recently to be very conservative with 88.3 percent of the funds being invested in fixed income – bonds and money market funds, and 11.6 percent in stocks.

The fund’s value at the end of September was $20,342,727 and has had a 3.4 percent return since the start of the year.

Sansom said raising the fixed income allocation is in response to the volatile market that has lacked stability in recent months and in reaction to some economists who say a mild recession could be on the horizon.

“However, we don’t see it being as violent as we saw in 2008,” he said Monday.

Samson said while the current allocations are focused on the preservation of the fund, after the election it could be wise to raise the allocation in stocks to 20 or 30 percent.

The goal is to keep the principle safe while allowing the Board to receive 3 percent of the fund’s earnings each year. Since it’s inception in 2012, the county has received close to $2,891,338 million from the profits of the fund. Each year, the supervisors have elected to put those funds, which have averaged about $500,000, toward road repairs.

In 2012, Baptist paid the city and county $60 million to buy the hospital so it could get out of its lease and build the new Baptist hospital that opened in November 2017. Baptist sold the old facility to the University of Mississippi for $22 million. The city and county split the funds and received $30 million each. The Board of Supervisors at the time elected to take $10 million and pay off all county debt and invest the remaining $20 million.

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