2018 Georgia Code
Title 20 - Education
Chapter 3 - Postsecondary Education
Article 11 - Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan
§ 20-3-637. Investment of plan funds; competitive solicitation of service providers; sale, assignment or transfer of investments
(a) The board shall have authority to establish a comprehensive investment plan for the purposes of this article and to invest any funds of the trust fund through the state treasurer. The state treasurer shall invest the trust fund moneys pursuant to an investment policy adopted by the board. Notwithstanding any state law to the contrary, the board, through the state treasurer, shall invest or cause to be invested amounts on deposit in the trust fund, including the program account, in a manner reasonable and appropriate to achieve the objectives of the plan, exercising the discretion and care of a prudent person in similar circumstances with similar objectives. The board shall give due consideration to the risk of, expected rate of return of, term or maturity of, diversification of total investments of, liquidity of, and anticipated investments in and withdrawals from the trust fund.
(b) All contractors, vendors, or other service providers, including, but not limited to, financial organizations, investments, and investment options shall be selected by competitive solicitation, unless otherwise directed by the board.
(c) All investments shall be marked clearly to indicate ownership by the plan and, to the extent possible, shall be registered in the name of the plan.
(d) Subject to the terms, conditions, limitations, and restrictions set forth in this Code section, the board may sell, assign, transfer, and dispose of any of the securities and investments of the plan if the sale, assignment, or transfer has the majority approval of the entire board. The board may employ or contract with financial organizations, investment managers, evaluation services, or other such services as determined by the board to be necessary for the effective and efficient operation of the program.
(e) Members and employees of the board shall be subject to the provisions of Chapter 10 of Title 45, relating to codes of ethics and conflicts of interest.
(f) The board shall establish criteria for financial organizations, investment managers, mutual funds, or other such entities to act as contractors or consultants to the board. The board may contract, either directly or through such contractors or consultants, to provide such services as may be a part of the comprehensive investment plan or as may be deemed necessary or proper by the board, including without limitation providing consolidated billing, individual and collective record keeping and accounting, and asset purchase, control, and safekeeping.
(g) No account owner, account contributor, or beneficiary shall directly or indirectly direct the investment of any account except as may be permitted under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or other applicable federal law.
(h) The board may approve different investment plans and options to be offered to participants to the extent permitted under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or other applicable federal law and consistent with the objectives of this article, and the board may require the assistance of investment counseling before participation in different options.
(i) No account owner or designated beneficiary shall pledge any interest in the program or any portion thereof as security for a loan.