This morning, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will introduce two resolutions designed to increase diversity at the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS), which administers the retirement benefits for over 350,000 members, by increasing the pension fund’s contracting with Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE).
“Our city is the most diverse in the world, and our investment decisions should reflect that diversity,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who serves as a trustee on the NYCERS board. “For too long, NYCERS has failed to provide enough opportunity to M/WBE fund managers, and these two resolutions are the first step towards providing true equity at the largest pension management system in the world.”
The first resolution will empower NYCERS to hire a consultant specifically to vet qualified M/WBE fund managers in order to consider them for future pension fund management. A second resolution would require NYCERS to dedicate 20 percent of all investments with M/WBE managers, eventually rising to 50 percent.
The total estimated value of NYCERS funds is roughly $194 billion. Currently, NYCERS only contracts roughly 10 percent of all of its assets with M/WBE fund managers.
“We cannot accept limited M/WBE participation in any form of City investment, and that includes at our pension fund,” said Borough President Diaz. “It is incumbent upon NYCERS to recognize the diversity of this city and do everything it can to reflect that diversity in its own hiring and contracting processes.”
Borough President Diaz first announced this package of resolutions in his February “State of the Borough” Address.
“And we must promote equity and opportunity, not just in housing and education, but in all areas. That is why, as a trustee on the New York City Employees Retirement System Board, I will be introducing a resolution mandating that NYCERS allocate double the percentage of its funds currently managed by M/WBEs,” said Borough President Diaz in his speech. “My resolution requires that diversity increase until our fund managers better represent the diversity of our city. Women are 60 percent of NYC’s workforce, and minorities comprise approximately 55 percent. Together, we will level the playing field at our pension fund.”