New York City Comptroller Brad Lander has announced he intends to divest the city’s pension system from assets linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“New York City is home to one of the world’s largest populations of Ukrainians, and our hearts are with the people of Ukraine, the many Russians who are bravely protesting this war, and with Ukrainian Americans watching in horror from our shores,” Lander said in a statement posted to Twitter.
Russia’s aggression in Ukraine merits swift action to cut Putin & the oligarchs who enable him off from the global financial system.
Following analysis & legal review, I plan to bring specific assets to the five boards of the NYC Retirement Systems to consider for divestment. pic.twitter.com/vLwGawQOdx
— Comptroller Brad Lander (@NYCComptroller) February 28, 2022
The New York City pension system is comprised of five distinct pension plans, with governance of each plan comprised of both labor and NYC elected official representatives. All decisions, including potential divestment of Russian assets, are made separately by each of the five pension plan boards.
“The White House is beginning the process of identifying the assets of sanctioned individuals and companies that support and enable Putin’s actions,” Lander said.
“Following an analysis of the funds’ holdings against that list and legal review, I plan to bring specific assets to the trustees of the five boards of the New York City Retirement Systems to consider for divestment,” he said.
On Sunday, Governor Kathy Hochul signed an executive order to impose sanctions against Russia, announcing that New York will divest state money from Russia-linked businesses until the federal government lifts its sanctions.
The executive order directs the State Comptroller to review state investments and purchases, and to immediately divest from those related to companies headquartered in Russia or Russia state-sponsored entities.