Seth Magaziner: 16 to Watch in 2016 in RI

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


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Seth Magaziner

The first year Rhode Island General Treasurer will now be entering into year two, and all eyes will continue to be on the freshman politician — who serves at the helm of overseeing the state’s pension funds.

“We have started an infrastructure bank, revamped the CollegeBoundfund and worked to make our finances more transparent and accountable,” said Magaziner’s camp in a fundraising email at the end of December. However, not all press was positive for Magaziner in 2015. “Critics Say Magaziner’s Reforms are Public Relations, Not Substance,” wrote Russ Moore for GoLocal in July 2015. 

Former SEC lawyer, Forbes contributor, and pension watchdog Edward Siedle (who was just named to Institutional Investor's "Pension 40" for the second straight year) claimed Rhode Island’s public-employee pension “incurred $2 billion in “total preventable losses,” partly because of investments in external real estate, private equity and hedge funds,” which Magaziner refuted.  

GoLocal contributor Michael Riley wrote in September "RI Pension Fund in Full Meltdown," posing the following: “The State of Rhode Island pension fund shortfall over the last 14 months now exceeds $750 million dollars.  At what point does the Governor or the Speaker of the House consider this a problem?”

All eyes will continue to be on Magaziner, fee disclosure, and the performance of the pension fund — and the decisions that he makes -- or doesn't -- in 2016. 


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