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Governor Phil Murphy

Murphy changes up State Investment Council

Tom Byrne, seven other Christie appointees are out

By David Wildstein, April 16 2018 9:48 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy has put his own mark on the State Investment Council, nominating eight new public members to replace the team that served under Gov. Chris Christie.

Murphy, who spent 23 years at Goldman Sachs, was a critic of some of the council’s investment policies during his campaign for governor.  He wants the state to stop investing in hedge funds that may huge fees to private equity managers.

The State Investment Council could wind up having an outsized role in the Murphy administration if the governor moves forward with his plan to create a State Bank.

Among the council members who were not reappointed was former Democratic State Chairman Tom Byrne, the son of the former governor, who led Christie’s bipartisan commission on benefits for public employees.  Murphy has not yet announced who the chairman will be.

It’s not unusual for a governor to put their own team in place. Christie axed Orin Kramer, a major Democratic fundraiser who had been named by Gov. Jim McGreevey.  As a gubernatorial candidate in 2009, Christie lambasted Gov. Jon Corzine for reappointing three council members who had supported investments that lost $25 billion in 2008, including $178 million in Lehman Brothers.

Christie named Bob Grady, a campaign advisor and former George H.W. Bush administration official, to replace Kramer.  He picked Byrne when Grady stepped down in 2014.

Among Murphy’s nominees are: institutional investment advisor Ted Aronson; Samir Pandiri, the CEO of Asset Servicing at The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation; Leonard Carr of PDT Partners, a global investment manager; Vaughn Crowe, who works with financier Raymond Chambers’ The MCJ Amelior Foundation; Deepak Raj, who runs his own private investment firm; Wasseem Boraie, a real estate developer; Danielle Beyer, the CEO of the New America Alliance; and Susan Soh, the chief of strategy and development at Sightway Capital.

The nominees must be confirmed by the State Senate.

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