• State Pension Fund Has Millions to Invest in New York Businesses


  • State Comptroller Touts Resources at WCA Business Intel Breakfast

  • Startups, emerging businesses, and ventures that are expanding or relocating in New York State should look to the Common Retirement Fund’s In-State Private Equity Program for capital, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli told a crowd of business leaders at a breakfast hosted by the Westchester County Association. Since the program’s inception in 1999, $6.7 billion has been invested in almost 300 New York companies, including $37 million in Westchester County businesses, he explained...

    ...“Are you looking for an equity partner? Then this program may be for you,” DiNapoli said at the “Business Intel” event, held at the Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway on June 3. “We’ve established partnerships with 18 private equity fund managers who invest in companies that require capital for growth, to refinance ownership, or for early stage investment. It’s been a win for the state’s economy because we leverage further investments from our fund partners, create thousands of jobs, and retain hundreds of businesses in New York State.”

    The program is also a win for the state’s pension fund—at $176.2 billion, it’s the third largest in the country, according to DiNapoli. “Over the past five years, our return on investment has been 20 percent,” he explained. “Not only are we investing in business, we are growing our fund and securing the benefits for members of the system.” DiNapoli said he hoped to make an announcement this fall about a reduction in the employer contribution rate.

    In his wide-ranging talk, DiNapoli also highlighted New York’s falling unemployment rate (in Westchester, it’s 4.6 percent, down from 6 percent in April of last year); job growth (New York is ahead of the nation); and sales tax revenue (Westchester County is up 6.2 percent this year, better overall than the state). He also pointed to the New York Business Development Corporation, which makes business loans throughout the state—18 so far in Westchester—as an alternative source of funding for local businesses.

    DiNapoli commended the WCA on its economic development initiatives. “There’s no doubt that the Westchester County Association has been instrumental in the development of Westchester County,” he said. “The organization’s cutting edge initiatives—from the BLUEPRINT for Westchester, to the Young Professionals group, and the economic development task force—are needed in these challenging times.”

    The event was the WCA’s latest installment in its “Business Intel” series, designed to give the Westchester business community the chance to learn from some of the region’s most knowledgeable, influential, and strategic thinkers. Through an array of events for members and the business community at-large, Business Intel features hot topics, trends, and tips (“business intel”) from leaders in healthcare, finance, real estate, technology, and more.

    For more on the State Comptroller's visit to DiNapoli, check out this Lohud interview.

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