RELEASE: Treasurer Summers Details Chicago’s Investment Performance on Second Quarterly Earnings Call

Outlines Proposed Changes to City’s Investment Policy to Increase Transparency on Financial Reporting

Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers today held the City’s second-ever earnings call and webcast, detailing performance on Chicago’s investment portfolio for the second quarter of 2015. Introduced by the Treasurer during his first 90 days in office, the new earnings call serves as a way to share with taxpayers and the public the financial performance the City. The call was hosted at Microsoft. During the presentation, the Treasurer also outlined proposed changes to the City’s Investment Policy that could improve the investment quality of the City’s portfolio while also ensuring greater accountability to Chicago’s taxpayers. These changes were introduced by Mayor Emanuel at the July meeting of the Chicago City Council.

“As the City’s investor, providing the public with a timely report on our portfolio is a top priority of the Treasurer’s Office,” Treasurer Summers said. “Changes to our existing investment policy will help ensure the residents of Chicago and our elected officials throughout the City have a very clear picture of where our investments stand on a regular basis.”

Treasurer Summers presented a portfolio yield of .90% for the quarter, which compared favorably to the Merrill Lynch 1-5 Year US Agency Index’s yield of .87% over the same time period. Given the significantly shorter duration of the Chicago City Treasurer’s Office portfolio relative to that of the index, the Treasurer highlighted the potential for an even higher yield as the Office adjusts duration and portfolio allocation.

Consistent with the regular practice of recent years, the Treasurer’s Office recently evaluated the current investment policy relative to market conditions, best practices, asset protection and investment quality. Changes to the investment policy proposed by the Treasurer were designed to ensure that the City is investing its assets in the best securities possible to maximize returns while effectively mitigating risk and maintaining required levels of liquidity.
The proposed modifications include:

• Protecting Taxpayers: Limit holdings in securities that have exhibited increased volatility or whose limited sector coverage impedes the transparent flow of information.
• Increasing Transparency and Accountability: Mandate that the Treasurer’s Office report to City Council and the public on a regular basis in order to collect important feedback regarding the City’s investment strategy and ensure timely review of policies given current market conditions.
• Improving Investment Quality: New improvements to provide the Treasurer’s Office with opportunities to pursue further diversification and enhanced earnings while securing the credit quality of the City’s investment portfolio.

During the Earnings Call, Treasurer Summers welcomed Chicago’s new Chief Investment Officer Miriam Martinez for an overview of the Fixed Income Market. Chris Mier, Chief Strategist and Managing Director of the Loop Capital Markets’ Analytical Services Division (ASD) also joined the call and provided overviews of the local economy.

To view today’s presentation, please click here.

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