NORTH CAROLINA -

The official responsible for overseeing $80 billion in pension funds for North Carolina employees and teachers is touting a plan that invests in companies with state ties.

State Treasurer Janet Cowell on Tuesday visits a Raleigh company that develops mobile applications. It received an investment originating with the $230 million Innovation Fund.
    
Cowell got permission to use the small slice of pension funds to invest in businesses with significant North Carolina operations and also earn strong returns for the pension fund. Cowell says the Innovation Fund is another way to generate the investment returns needed to make sure the state can pay all pensions promised to more than 875,000 retired workers.
    
Credit Suisse manages the money and selects outside investment firms to pick individual companies.