Ranji H. Nagaswami on Monday was appointed by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to the newly created job of adviser to the mayor’s trustees on the boards of five New York City pension funds that had combined assets of $103.8 billion as of May 31.
Ms. Nagaswami is a former CIO of AllianceBernstein’s blend strategies group, overseeing the firm’s multiasset and blend equity portfolios, according to a news release from the mayor’s office.
At a news conference announcing the appointment, Mr. Bloomberg said his decision shouldn’t be viewed as criticism of John C. Liu, city comptroller and investment adviser of the five city pension plans, or Lawrence M. Schloss, whom Mr. Liu appointed in January as the pension plans’ chief investment officer.
“I think that John Liu (has) appointed somebody very good,” said Mr. Bloomberg in a partial transcript of the news conference provided by the mayor’s office. “Larry Schloss, I’ve known for a long time … He’s very smart. We hired Ranji Nagaswami who has enormous experience … She and Schloss know each other. He thinks that she’s great. The city has a responsibility and I want to make sure that the city has the expertise to fulfill that responsibility.”
She “will work closely” with Mr. Liu’s office “to monitor and advise on the performance of investments and investment managers for all asset classes held by the (five city) pension systems and deferred compensation plan,” which cover more than 350,000 active employees and 275,000 retirees and beneficiaries, the news release said.
Among her duties, Ms. Nagaswami “will conduct research on all relevant investment issues that impact the portfolios,” the news release said. She also will provide the mayor’s pension board trustees “with timely investment reviews, reports and presentations (and) make recommendations on asset allocation and investment strategy.”
She also will work with the comptroller’s office “to ensure that all appropriate information is analyzed and integrated into the selection, termination and performance reviews of investment managers,” the news release said. And she will “assist in negotiating the terms and conditions of investment contracts with investment managers and banks.”
“We look forward to working with Ranji Nagaswami,” Michael Loughran, a spokesman for Mr. Liu, said in an e-mail response to questions. “This is a talented person joining the pension boards and her appointment will help build on the reforms and success we have had this year.”
The five city pension funds are the New York City Employees’ Retirement System; the Teachers’ Retirement System of the City of New York; the New York City Police Pension Fund; New York City Fire Department Pension Fund; and the New York City Board of Education Retirement System.