August 3, 2010

New York City Gets Chief Investment Advisor

An investment management veteran and former Chief Investment Officer for money management giant AllianceBernstein, Ranji Nagaswami, will fill a new, senior post in New York City's vast pension and retirement system as chief investment advisor. She will oversee the boards of New York City's five retirement systems and the New York City Deferred Compensation Plan Board, which together have over $100 billion in assets and cover 350,000 current employees as well as 275,000 retired employees and beneficiaries.

"As an investor and fiduciary, I have spent more than 20 years consistently delivering results for my clients, and now I hope to be able to the same for City taxpayers," Nagaswami stated in the release.

Nagaswami's 20 years of experience includes advising other public pension systems, and individual and institutional investors. "We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Ranji's deep experience, talent and record of success in managing major investments across assets classes agree to be our Chief Investment Advisor," New York City's Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, said in the August 2 news release. "The cost to City taxpayers of the pension systems is growing at an astronomical rate, from $1.1 billion in 2001 to an expected $7.6 billion this year, which is more than 10 percent of the entire City budget. We will continue to pursue the reforms desperately needed in Albany to reduce the unmanageable costs of pension benefits, while at the same time working to ensure we are getting best possible returns on pension fund investments and looking at every option." Growth of pension liabilities is a problem that is occurring in public pension systems all over the country. See related article, "Liabilities of Defined Benefit Plans are Underestimated."

WealthManagerWeb.com readers will recall that Nagaswami is a member of the advisory board which selected the 50 Top Women in Wealth for 2010.

A member of the Advisory Board of the Yale School of Management, Nagaswami is also on Yale University's Investment Committee. Nagaswami is a Henry Crown Fellow and serves on the Henry Crown Board of Overseers at the Aspen Institute.

Nagaswami holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Mumbai University in Mumbai, India, where she grew up. She also holds an MBA from Yale University.

Comments? Please send them to kmcbride@wealthmanagerweb.com. Kate McBride is editor in chief of Wealth Manager and a member of The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard.

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