RELEASE: City Treasurer Kurt Summers Reports Progress on First 90 Days in Office

On Chicago’s 178th Birthday, Releases New Impact Report and Findings on Visits to Chicago’s 77 Communities

On Chicago’s 178th Birthday, City Treasurer Kurt Summers today released an “Impact Report” on the progress he’s made during his first 90 days since taking the oath of office on Dec. 1, 2014. On day one, the Treasurer launched a 90-Day Action Plan and listening tour to visit each of Chicago’s 77 communities in 77 days. The ideas and findings in the Impact Report were driven by the voices of more than a thousand individuals the Treasurer met during that time and by initiatives outlined in the 90-Day Plan.

The new Impact Report includes innovations to protect local pension funds, provide financial education resources and ways to hold the Treasurer’s Office and its financial partners accountable. The report can be found online at chicagocitytreasurer.com/impact.

“The residents of Chicago hired me as their Treasurer based on my commitment to transforming this Office to better serve neighborhoods in every corner of our city,” Treasurer Summers said. “I am honored to report our progress from my first 90 days in office, however there is much more work to do. I look forward to collaborating with Mayor Emanuel and City Council as we work to safeguard the city’s financial future and invest more in our Chicago.”

“I could not be prouder of the strong start that Kurt Summers has gotten off to, helping to manage Chicago’s investments effectively, efficiently, and in a way that promotes opportunity for every Chicagoan,” said Mayor Emanuel. “As Chicago continues to face our financial challenges head on, I am proud to have Kurt Summers working as an essential part of our team helping to give investors the confidence they need, while giving every resident in every neighborhood the opportunities they deserve to succeed.”

Before taking action on the initiatives outlined by the 90-Day Plan, Treasurer Summers and his team first identified the City’s current status quo and reviewed national best practices to determine where Chicago could improve and innovate.

The Impact Report is organized by five overarching categories:

  • Increasing investment in our Chicago
  • Protecting our local pension funds
  • Providing financial education and empowerment
  • Enhancing city and sister agency services
  • Committing to financial accountability and transparency

The 90-Day plan originally included 15 initiatives that served as a roadmap to help Treasurer Summers achieve his vision for the Treasurer’s office over the next four years. After meeting with the city’s 77 communities, feedback was incorporated into the Impact Report, and due to support from across the city, an additional 16th initiative was added.

From the 90-Day Plan, the two most supported initiatives during the Treasurer’s 77 visits were encouraging financial institutions to invest in our community and enhancing Chicago’s attractiveness to small business. Additionally, 70 out of 77 communities made some mention of a desire for increased transparency and scorecards regarding financial information from banks, the City and the Treasurer’s office.

Further progress from Treasurer Summers’ first 90 days in office include:

  • Began to introduce a joint resolution to each of Chicago’s 11 pension funds that proposes they share data to renegotiate better contracts and help achieve substantial savings on the $144 million in fees they pay investment managers annually
  • Created an emerging manager best practice database, which will be available and updated on a quarterly basis
  • Presented at the White House a first-of-its-kind citywide financial education plan during a meeting of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans
  • Rebranded the Bank On program, created an online bank locator tool and expanded the Bank On network with the addition of two community banks
  • Reviewed all banking relationships within the Treasurer’s office for the first time in a decade and identified a savings of $100,000 by eliminating redundancies, enabling $30 million to be redeployed into return-bearing securities
  • Launched the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) Advantage Program to provide day-to-day investment portfolio management to more sister agencies. Today, the Treasurer’s team provides this service to the Chicago Park District, helping save the Park District over $250,000 in management fees, personnel, and other costs.
  • Inventoried citywide small business support and developed the “4 C’s for Small Business” model – capital, capacity, cost and clients – where the Treasurer’s Office can help small businesses grow
  • Developed a scorecard to launch April 15 on Treasurer’s website that will track progress on each of the 90- Day initiatives on a quarterly basis
  • Designated the Greater Chatham Initiative (GCI) as a citywide best practice for comprehensive neighborhood planning