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INDIANAPOLIS — A Chicago-based asset management firm has been selected to make investments in promising Hoosier companies by using up to $250 million generated by the 2006 Indiana Toll Road lease that since then has been held in trust by the state.

The Next Level Indiana Trust Fund Investment Board last week chose 50 South Capital Advisors LLC, a subsidiary of Northern Trust Corp., to make strategic investments in accordance with the board's goals, beginning in the first quarter of 2018.

Earlier this year, Hoosier lawmakers in House Enrolled Act 1001 approved Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb's proposal to allow riskier equity and debt investments, primarily in Indiana-based companies, using half of what previously was known as the Next Generation Trust Fund.

According to the governor's office, the board soon will adopt an investment policy to guide decisions made by 50 South Capital Advisors, which will manage the fund and regularly report to the board.

State law limits Next Level investments to a maximum of $25 million in any single company or investment account.

The other half of the fund, which state records show totaled $520 million on March 31, will continue to be invested mostly in products with limited downside risk, similar to money invested by the Indiana Public Retirement System.

Investment proceeds are required to be transferred to the state in 2021, and every five years thereafter, to be used for transportation infrastructure projects.

"The Next Level Trust Fund will build upon Indiana's developing venture community and support increased entrepreneurship and innovation in our state," Holcomb said.

The fund was established by the Indiana Finance Authority as a charitable trust that operates separately from the state since the Indiana Constitution bars the state from becoming a stockholder in any corporation or association.

The five-member board is led by Elaine Bedel, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., and includes State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell; Indiana Office of Management and Budget Director Micah Vincent; Cynthia Lucchese, chief administrative and financial officer for Hulman & Co.,of Indianapolis; and Bill Godfrey, managing director of 4G Ventures in Carmel.

Former state Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, and state Rep. Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville, serve as nonvoting advisers to the board.

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