Brian is the only candidate in this race with relevant investment management experience, and he is concerned about the state of the pension fund. Managing a pension system valued at over $229 billion and working to maximize returns for pensioners is central to the job, and Brian is well-prepared to step up to this task on day one.
Brian knows that a strong return is possible while still maintaining a fund that reflects our values. In his first year as a state senator, Brian introduced legislation and then worked with the state comptroller to divest the public pensions from private prisons. In the next session, he took it a step further and brought his fight to big private banks, introduce legislation that would disallow investment from any bank chartered in the state, successfully pushing banks including Bank of America to shed their stock.
In 2020 the pension fund did not reach its required return of seven percent, meaning that - in the middle of a budget crisis - hundreds of millions of dollars must be transferred to the fund that could have gone to social services or another important priority.
Brian will do the same in the office of the Comptroller. With labor trustees at the table, he will make investment decisions that help build a city focused on working people. With an experienced financial manager as comptroller, the more than $229 billion pension fund gives the city a seat at the table and a voice that even the largest corporations can not ignore. In addition to meeting our goals to divest from fossil fuels as quickly as possible, Brian will fight to ensure the future investments are targeted to match our values. He’ll use Economically Targeted Investments (ETIs) to invest in developing new income targeted affordable housing projects as well as permanent supportive housing to shift resources from temporary shelters for the homeless, and to invest in stocks that meet environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) standards. He’ll also use the voice the pension funds give the city to make shareholder motions and to force votes to improve the quality of companies the city already has investments in. Having previously managed money at this scale, Brian understands the strategy and impact that shareholder votes can have.
With a good comptroller who understands the industry, we can get a double return for the investments. First - the financial return for the pension holders. Second - an improved city, one where companies know that they have to center working people because we are going to demand it with the power of this pension fund.