Pennsylvania treasurer to chair NAST pension trust panel

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Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella will chair the National Association of State Treasurers' pension and trust Investment committee for 2020.

NAST President Deborah Goldberg, the Massachusetts treasurer and receiver general, appointed Torsella. Goldberg cited his "outstanding skills and capability in advancing good practices within state and national retirement systems."

John Murante of Nebraska will join him on the committee as vice chairman.

"Public pensions serve a crucial role in the economic security of public school teachers and local and state government workers who have dedicated their lives to public service,” said Torsella, 56, a Democrat.

The committee is responsible for keeping NAST membership — treasurers of all 50 states— informed of developments in public pension management and industry best practices.

This position is a one-year term. Torsella is also a member of the achieving a better life experience committee and the NAST foundation board.

Podcast: Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella discusses class-action against banks over price fixing of government security bonds with Bond Buyer Northeast Regional Editor Paul Burton.

Pennsylvania Treasury was lead plaintiff in a class action against 16 of the nation’s largest banks, for colluding to fix prices of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds — government-sponsored entity instruments — between 2009 and 2016. Torsella in late December announced a $250 million settlement with 12 banks that raised total clawback to $386.5 million.

Assuming classwide damages of $857 million, the total recovery represents nearly 59% of the 16 defendants’ proportionate share of single damages, Torsella said.

The settlement includes structural overhaul aimed to prevent anticompetitive conduct.

Torsella was elected in 2016. He oversees an office of 360 employees responsible for nearly $100 billion in state assets. from 2011-2014 he was the U.S. representative to the United Nations for budget and management reform, and in he early 1990s was Philadelphia deputy mayor for policy and planning under then-Mayor and later Gov. Ed Rendell.

Raised in Berwick, Pennsylvania, Torsella is a graduate of Wyoming Seminary preparatory school and an honors graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a Rhodes Scholar.

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Public pensions Joe Torsella National Association of State Treasurers Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania