Following their attendance at a recent seminar hosted by the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns, the city’s Municipal Retirement Board has created two subcommittees charged with examining the board’s fiduciary practices and recommending ways to improve them, Board Chairman Al Marciano and Mayor Scott Avedisian announced in a release issued by the administration.
The seminar included presentations by Frederick P. McClure, Esq., of Hinkley Allen Snyder, and Mark Dingle, general counsel for the Office of the General Treasurer, who offered participants a number of suggestions, including a 38-point fiduciary compliance checklist and review of the duties of pension boards, including introducing the “doctrine of procedural prudence,” which includes a “duty to monitor” a municipal pension system’s investments.
One subcommittee will review the board’s current practices against the compliance checklist and make recommendations for any steps that should be taken going forward, Marciano said. The other subcommittee will examine the feasibility of implementing additional steps to monitor investments and further safeguard them from losses due to securities fraud. One such step could be to enlist the services of a securities litigation firm that would provide board members with advice on lawsuits and settlements in the event securities fraud adversely affected the system’s investments.
The League event was the first in a series of occasional development seminars that board members will attend, Marciano said.
Current board members are: Lawrence Anthony, Jean Bouchard, Frank Frenze, Councilman Raymond Gallucci, Alfred Marciano, Jeanne Muto-Kyle, Jack O'Donnell, William DePasquale, Oscar Shelton, Ernest Zmyslinski and Scott Lajoie.
The board, established by city ordinance, is comprised of the director of finance (ex officio), personnel director (ex officio), chairperson of the City Council finance committee (ex officio), president of the municipal employees bargaining unit (ex officio), a current employee who is a municipal union member, a retiree, an employee not in the municipal employees’ union, and four members of the general public who are not officers or employees of the city.