Drew Smith named city of Boston treasurer

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BOSTON — Drew Smith, former Massachusetts deputy assistant treasurer for debt management, is the new treasurer for Boston.

Smith, who began his new position on Monday, represented the city at Wednesday's annual Massachusetts Investor Conference at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

"Thanks to strong fiscal management, Boston has the highest triple-A bond rating and I have confidence that Drew will put in the hard work to ensure the City remains in great standing," Mayor Martin Walsh said in a statement.

Boston has had a triple-A rating for four years.

"The Aaa rating reflects the city's strong fiscal management and stable financial position as well as the large and growing tax base with economic diversity bolstered by significant government, higher education and healthcare sectors," Moody's Investors Service said in May, when the city sold $59.3 million of general obligation refunding bonds.

"The rating also incorporates a large, conservatively managed debt profile and comparatively high pension and [other post-employment benefit] liabilities to which the city continues to allocate substantial funding."

Smith, an Arkansas native with more than 10 years of experience in treasury roles and just named one of The Bond Buyer's Rising Stars, will manage the city's long-term debt and trust funds, and oversee the implementation of all Treasury statutory and regulatory requirements as well as city policies.

"This administration's commitment to fiscal responsibility, transparency, and its common-sense approach to financial management has served the city and its residents well, and I look forward to being a part of that continued good work," said Smith.

Working for several years under state treasurers Steven Grossman and Deborah Goldberg, Smith oversaw the management of $25 billion in outstanding debt; between $3-5 billion in annual debt issuance; and roughly $2.6 billion annually in debt service payments to support the commonwealth's capital infrastructure programs and cash-flow borrowing needs.

Massachusetts and Boston have experienced their most robust growth since the late 1990s, Michael Goodman, executive director of the Public Policy Center at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, said at the conference.

Boston, with a population of 673,000, is noted for its talented workforce, multitude of universities and its capacity for innovation. It is considered one of the leading candidates to land retail behemoth Amazon Inc.'s second world headquarters, the so-called HQ2.

Last year, General Electric Co. relocated its corporate headquarters from Fairfield, Conn., to Boston's Seaport District.

According to Goodman, development activity in the commonwealth is concentrated around Greater Boston, notably in the Seaport District adjacent to South Station. Blue-collar sectors such as construction are also on an uptick, he said,

Boston's growth disproportionate to other regions in the state raises serious concerns about sustainability, he added.

"There's a lot of growth driving our economic sails, but we've had trouble extending it beyond the immediate region."

The growth, said Goodman, strains local infrastructure while opening up opportunities for investors.

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Career moves Tax-exempt bonds Drew Smith Martin Walsh City of Boston, MA Massachusetts