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May 26, 2009


DiNapoli Appoints New Investment Advisory Committee Chair

Walé Adeosun, Hugh Johnson Join Pension Investment Strategy Team

Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today that Walé Adeosun, treasurer and chief investment officer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been named chair of the New York State Common Retirement Fund’s (CRF) Investment Advisory Committee (IAC). In addition, Hugh Johnson, chairman and chief investment officer of Johnson Illington Advisors, has agreed to join the committee.

“Walé Adeosun brings great knowledge, and more importantly, a strong sense of ethics to this role,” DiNapoli said. “Hugh Johnson has built a national reputation for integrity and insight. As we move forward with more reforms and take steps to bolster IAC’s oversight role, Walé Adeosun and Hugh Johnson, along with the other members of IAC, will help steer the CRF in the right direction.”

The CRF Investment Advisory Committee reviews CRF investment strategies and provides investment advice and technical assistance to the Comptroller. DiNapoli has strengthened the role of the Investment Advisory Committee as part of his overall reforms relating to the Fund.

Adeosun is a chartered financial analyst and is a member of DiNapoli’s Pension Review Task Force, which submitted a comprehensive report on the Fund’s reforms in March. The Fund is in the process of implementing the majority of the Task Force’s recommendations, including:

  • Quarterly reporting of CRF’s investment results;
  • Adding enhanced conflict-of-interest disclosure and enforcement provisions to the existing code of conduct guiding advisement committees;
  • Strengthening of external advisory committees that review investment procedures and decisions.

Before assuming his current position, Adeosun was previously a managing director of public equities for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and also managed pension investments for the Inland Steel Industries. Last year, Adeosun was inducted into the Wall Street Hall of Fame by the National Association of Securities Professionals-New York Chapter.

Johnson is a nationally recognized economic commentator with more than 40 years of investment experience. He was chief investment strategist and chief economist at First Albany Corporation for more than 25 years, and is a regular commentator on CNN and CNBC.

Since taking office in February 2007, DiNapoli has instituted a series of reforms to address the transgressions of the previous administration, including:

  • Banning the involvement of placement agents;
  • Creating the Koch-Zarb Commission to review operations of the Office of the State Comptroller;
    Creating a mandatory ethics training program;
  • Drafting legislation to codify the pension fund reforms and partnering with the State Insurance Department to strengthen oversight of the Fund;
  • Hiring a law firm and independent investment consulting firm to review all investments with firms under investigation by the New York Attorney General and the SEC;
  • Creating an Inspector General position and hiring a Special Counsel for Ethics; and,
  • Publishing investment transactions monthly and pension fund performance quarterly.

DiNapoli also proposed Campaign Finance Reform legislation for the public funding of Comptroller campaign in 2010 to eliminate the opportunity for candidates to be influenced by wealthy donors and other interests. Even without changes in the law, DiNapoli has voluntarily limited the contributions to his campaign to less than one-half the legal limit.

Click here for more detailed information on the Comptroller’s reforms.


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