New York hired N.M. Rothschild & Sons, a financial advisory firm, to study the potential of privatizing the state lottery to finance creation of a $4 billion higher education endowment fund, said Matt Anderson, spokesman for the state division of budget. Gov. David A. Paterson authorized the hiring of Rothschild to evaluate selling future proceeds of the lottery in exchange for the $4 billion, said Mr. Anderson, whose division is part of the governors office. Mr. Anderson said which state office would oversee investment of endowment assets would be part of the governors evaluation of structuring the endowment.
No timetable has been set for Rothschilds report, Mr. Anderson said, although he noted the firms contract expires in June. After expenses and payouts, the lottery netted $2.6 billion last year, Mr. Anderson said.
Creation of the endowment was approved as part of the state budget adopted last week, but no funding source was designated, Mr. Anderson said.