Utah Treasurer Marlo Oaks appoints Bong Choi to SITFO Board of Trustees

SALT LAKE CITY – May 29, 2024 – Utah Treasurer Marlo M. Oaks today announced the appointment of Bong Choi to the School and Institutional Trust Funds Office (SITFO) Board of Trustees. Choi is appointed to fill the open seat concluding Jason Gull’s six-year term, which expires on June 30.

When Utah became a state in 1896, Congress granted approximately seven million acres of land into 12 separate trusts for the support of state institutions, the largest being a trust for the perpetual support of public schools. In 2014, the Utah Legislature created SITFO as an independent state agency with a five-member Board of Trustees, chaired by the state treasurer, to invest the funds produced by the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration’s (SITLA) management of the land.

“The depth and quality of Mr. Choi’s experience complements the strong institutional investment management expertise our existing board members bring to the table. I am confident he will add a unique dimension of perspective and inquiry to our work as fiduciaries, policymakers, and overseers,” Treasurer Oaks said. “I am grateful for Jason Gull’s dedication to the trust system over the last six years. The trust funds have experienced impressive growth, and Mr. Gull’s contributions to their oversight as a board member have been critical.”

Choi has decades of investment management experience, including over 25 years of experience investing on behalf of institutions and families. Since 2021, Choi has served as the Chief Investment Officer of FJ Management, a Utah-based private holding company, leading its non-operating investment platform. Prior, he held investment roles at Wetherby Asset Management, Stamos Capital Partners, Capricorn Management, Orion Partners, and The Beacon Group. 

“It is a privilege to join the board of SITFO, which plays a vital role in securing a brighter future for young Utahns.  I look forward to leveraging my investment experience to support SITFO’s mission and make a positive impact on our community,” Choi said.

The SITFO Board Nominating Committee, under the direction of the Land Trusts Protection and Advocacy Office, met three times since February to identify and interview candidates. Treasurer Oaks interviewed the committee’s final nominations before appointing Choi to the board.

About the School and Institutional Trusts System

As part of Utah’s 1894 Enabling Act, Congress granted millions of acres of land, called trust lands, to our state. Constitutional provisions require that revenue earned from the land be placed into permanent endowments for specific institutions, including public education, state hospitals, and universities. The land has been administered by SITLA since 1994. In 2014, the Utah State Legislature created SITFO as an independent state agency to invest the funds produced by SITLA’s administration of the land. During the 2018 General Session, the legislature authorized the creation of the Land Trusts Protection and Advocacy Office to ensure beneficiary interests are maximized by monitoring land management, fund investment, and distribution administration.