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DiNAPOLI RECEIVES NAACP AWARD IN ROCHESTER

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli received the NAACP New York State Conference 2010 Leadership Award Saturday at the NAACP 74th Annual Convention in Rochester.  

“I am deeply honored to receive this award,” said DiNapoli, in his address before assembled dignitaries at the convention.  “Throughout my life and career I’ve worked very hard to promote and protect civil and human rights, and made sure that the Office of the State Comptroller lives by the highest standards of ethics and fairness, putting the taxpayers and public pensioners first.”

"The NAACP New York State is grateful to Comptroller DiNapoli for consistently being a legislative champion of civil and human rights," said President Hazel Dukes, marking the occasion of DiNapoli's award.

As the sole trustee of the state’s $125 billion pension fund, DiNapoli has been committed to increasing the role women and minority owned businesses play in that fund.  MWBEs are one of the fastest growing sectors of New York’s economy; the number of minority-owned businesses totaled 537,838 in 2007, an increase of 27.2 percent from 2002.  Receipts in 2007 for these firms totaled $80 billion, a 58.5 percent increase from 2002.

When DiNapoli came into office, only a quarter of the broker-dealers doing business with OSC were minorities or women. Currently more than half of the brokers selected are now MWBE.  A big part of this program is DiNapoli’s Emerging Managers initiative. In private equity, this year’s existing Emerging Manager Program committed $160 million to MWBEs; the core portfolio has an additional $770 million committed to minority- and women-owned firms.

In public equities, the CRF has increased its allocation of assets to be managed by MWBE firms by $625 million. Assets managed by minority and female brokers will now total approximately $2 billion, 22 percent of the actively managed public equities portfolio.  DiNapoli’s office continues to beat MWBE participation goals.  Currently, some 21 percent of businesses of participating businesses are owned by either minorities or women.  

Diversity has always been important to DiNapoli. He made diversity-management one of his six strategic priorities for the Comptroller’s Office, and he signed an executive-order that required extensive cultural-awareness building.

DiNapoli’s office has recently conducted several audits of other state agency MWBE programs. Though results are preliminary, it seems that agencies are uncertain about how to best develop their programs. The audits will provide recommendations on best practices and needed improvements.  

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