NYC Pension Investment Office Begins Implementing Reforms; Upgrading Technology, Talent

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Earlier this year, an independent report commissioned by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer found that “operational failure is likely” in the investment office of New York City’s pension funds due to lack of resources and under-staffing, among other things.

[Read the report here.]

At the investment meeting for the city’s pension funds on Wednesday, CIO Scott Evans – who manages the pension funds’ pooled portfolios – outlined the reforms he’s implementing to address the issues revealed in the report.

From ai-cio.com:

Miles Draycott has been brought on as the bureau’s first chief risk officer to tackle operational risks, while new Strategic Initiatives Director Cara Schnaper is focusing on areas including technological needs and reporting processes.

“Right now, our fund accounting processes are clunky to say the least,” Schnaper said during a presentation of the bureau’s roadmap for reforms. “If we don’t get out of all the noise we’ll never be able to look at what’s really on the table.”

Evans estimated that the technology alone needed to improve the bureau’s operations and reporting will cost more than $2 million—more than quadruple the $463,845 grant currently awarded to the bureau for non-personnel expenses.

“We were built to support a stocks and bonds portfolio,” Evans said. “You can’t manage a modern portfolio with an infrastructure that is not robust and that is not suited for the task.”

As for personnel expenses, Evans is requesting an additional $1.3 million to bring the total staff count up to 71. Currently, the bureau employs 48 staffers, with the authorization to hire 13 more.

The CIO is also seeking funding for training programs for bureau employees.

“We want to develop our people,” he said. “Right now we’re not spending any money on training.”

The report contained 240 recommendations in all.

 

Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr CC License

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