NEW: Caprio Splits with Raimondo on Hedge Funds

Tuesday, October 08, 2013


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In a departure from current Rhode Island General Treasurer Gina Raimondo's strategy, former General Treasurer Frank Caprio announced today that he will reduce the number of money managers and use of hedge funds in his bid for the office in 2014.

"I pledge to reduce the number of outside money managers and hedge funds and work with a handful of money managers who can efficiently and less expensively assist the Treasury in maximizing our return on investments," said Caprio, if re-elected to the post.  "I've lowered Wall Street fees as evidenced by a national study and made our pension less risky in the past by exiting sub-prime mortgage bonds before the crash, and I'll do it again."

He continued, “My track record in managing the state’s investments and pension fund is strong, and I look forward to getting back to the task of maximizing our return on investments so that more money can be spent on what matters to Rhode islanders, chiefly, maintaining or having an environment that creates more good paying jobs for our residents.”

Caprio noted, “I also want to reduce fees to allow for a more balanced solution in the ongoing pension litigation with teachers and public employees.”

Running as Democrat

On his decision to run as a Democrat for the office of General Treasurer, Caprio noted, “After much deliberation and after completing 10 election cycles as a Democrat, I ultimately wished to stay focused on the same issues I have spent the better part of my public service upholding, and with the same people and supporters who have been with me every step of the way. I’m grateful for the advice I’ve received in this process. Last, the concept of Rhode Islanders helping Rhode Islanders resonates very strongly with me, as I believe it does with the Rhode Island Democratic Party, and that’s how we will reclaim economic prosperity.”

He continued, “Nearly everything we wish to accomplish in this state is tied to a vibrant work force and low unemployment, neither of which we have right now. We can’t pay for our schools, our roads and bridges, for protection of our environment, if we don’t have jobs for our citizens. As was my practice as General Treasurer and as a legislator, central to every decision we make at the State House should ask the question, does this help create or protect jobs? With small businesses employing the majority of the Rhode Island workforce, my priority will be to protect the ones we have and help small business owners expand and thrive. And that’s what I’ll accomplish.”

Unveils Small Business Lending Program

Caprio also announced that he will unveil in the coming months a comprehensive platform of initiatives designed to strengthen and create more jobs, particularly in the small business sector, with a specific focus and a specific allocation from the state pension fund to be called the Rhode Island Small Business Capital and Lending Program.

“As Treasurer, I will implement a small business lending program which will provide Rhode Island small business with necessary capital, loans and business advice to continue to stay in business, create more jobs, and succeed. In short, within the existing framework of the pension fund guidelines exists the opportunity to leverage the pension fund to do more for small business. That’s what I intend to do.”

The Small Business Capital and Lending Program would be run by federally chartered or S.E.C. regulated lending firm that have experience in successful small business lending programs. The expert and successful firms’ money would be loaned alongside the investment from the state pension fund. The Treasurer and State Investment Commission members have oversight over the program but the experienced firms would make all lending decisions and be responsible for monitoring the loans.

“We may all know small businesses that have failed due to the strict lending environments and the fact that banks are not readily renewing lines of credit. Or alternatively, perhaps we know of a small business owner ready to grow his or her business to the next level but is hamstrung by these same stringent lending restrictions. That’s where this program, and our own pension fund, would step in and provide the necessary capital, and allow Rhode Islanders to help Rhode Islanders.”

“It’s important that this program, and in fact, the Office of the General Treasurer, be free of any quid pro quo expectations. For that reason, and because I believe so strongly in the will of Rhode Islanders when we come together to help each other, I also underscore that I will not accept any donations from individuals who do work for the office of the General Treasurer. That means no contributions from employees of investment firms, banks and lending institutions.” 



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