New York’s Finest say “Nyet” into putting pension funds into Russian securities

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The trustees of the New York City Police Pension Fund voted Tuesday to approve a resolution directing City Comptroller Brad Lander to carry out the divestment of the Fund’s investments in securities issued by Russian companies, beginning with those identified by the United States government as financing, supporting or enabling the Putin regime. 

The move came after Lander brought the resolution to the pension board, which is made up of union representatives and elected officials. It also comes as Russia has stepped up its’ attack on Ukraine.

The New York City Police Pension Fund is one the nation’s largest municipal retirement funds in the United States with over 85,000 active members and retirees. The Fund held $42.2 million in Russian securities at the close of business on February 25.

NYC Comptroller Brad Lander
Mayor Eric Adams

“The international community and the global financial institutions have rallied in support of Ukrainians facing an unjustified assault on their sovereignty and democracy. New Yorkers, including current and retired police officers, stand in solidarity with Ukraine and are proud to play a role in contributing to cutting President Putin and his enablers off from global financial markets,” said Lander. “It is our hope that the world’s response accelerates an end to aggression and a swift resolution that saves lives and supports the many people displaced by this violence.”

Mayor Eric Adams, who is also a trustee of the pension board, and a retired NYPD captain, also strongly supported the move saying freedom cannot be denied, here or anywhere. 

“That’s why I stand in support of efforts to divest the city’s pension funds from Russian assets in light of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine — an unprovoked and unjustified war,” said Adams. “This is not about penalizing the Russian people, but about holding President Putin and his government accountable for violating a nation’s sovereignty and inflicting widespread suffering on its people. Our administration is committed to standing with Ukrainians and refugees here and abroad while doing all we can to advance peace, in collaboration with the community and our federal partners.”

NYPD Detectives Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo said the international community has spoken, and it’s clear that the Ukrainian people have been unjustly attacked. 

“As a union comprised of every race, religion, and creed who strongly believe in and protect democracy we will do whatever we can to aid Ukraine – and financially hinder those in Russia who wish the country harm,” said DiGiacomo.

Other trustees of the Police Pension Fund include Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell, Finance Commissioner Preston Niblack, Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President Patrick J. Lynch, PBA First Vice President John Puglissi, PBA Second Vice President Joseph Alejandro, PBA Board of Trustees Chairman Thomas Gilmore, Detectives Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo, Sergeants Benevolent Association President Vincent Vallelong, Lieutenants Benevolent Association President Louis Turco and Captains Endowment Association President Christopher Monahan.

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