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The 2015 Pension 40: Denise Nappier

No. 34 Denise Nappier, Treasurer / Connecticut

Denise Nappier
Treasurer / Connecticut
Last year’s rank: Not ranked

Since beginning her tenure as Connecticut’s treasurer in 1999, Denise Nappier has not been shy about voicing her opinion on how the state’s pension benefits are managed. But unlike some other state treasurers, she’s not allowed at the table when benefits with public employees are negotiated; she’s only in charge of investing the state’s nearly $30 billion retirement plan and trust fund. Nappier, 64, acknowledges the state has had challenges generating returns that meet expectations. She’s spent much of her time this year conducting an asset allocation and liability study, and reviewing the system’s preferred vendors. In the meantime, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy put forth a complex proposal in October that would split the pension system, putting off some funding for ten years to avoid payments that could cut into other areas of the budget. This year Connecticut is on the hook for $1.51 billion for its state employees’ pension fund. “When you extend the amortization schedule, you can lower payments, but it also lowers improvements on the funding ratio,” says Nappier, a Hartford native who first ran for treasurer on a platform promising not to “kick the can down the road.” In 2008, Connecticut became one of the first states to use a bond covenant to lock the plan sponsor — the state of Connecticut — into meeting its annual pension obligations. Nappier believes this “ironclad” rule will keep the governor from reducing the state’s contributions and triggering a massive balloon payment in the future. She’s also focused on ensuring greater gender and racial equality on the boards of companies the state has invested in. Her office submitted a request in April to the Securities and Exchange Commission for a rule that would bolster board diversity disclosure on proxy ballots.

The 2015 Pension 40

1. Bruce Rauner
2. John & Laura Arnold
Laura and John Arnold Foundation
3. Chris Christie
New Jersey
4. Randi Weingarten
AmericanFederation of Teachers
5. Phyllis Borzi
U.S. Department
of Labor
6. Kevin de León
7. Alejandro García Padilla
Commonwealth ofPuerto Rico
8. Laurence Fink
9. Rahm Emanuel
10. Sean McGarvey
North AmericanBuilding Trades Unions
11. John Kline
12. J. Mark Iwry
U.S. Treasury
13. Damon Silvers
14. Jeffrey Immelt
Electric Co.
15. Joshua Gotbaum
Brookings Institution
16. Robin Diamonte
United Technologies Corp.
17. Mark Mullet
18. Terry O'Sullivan
Laborers' International Union of North America
19. Raymond Dalio
Bridgewater Associates
20. Ted Wheeler
21. Thomas Nyhan
Central States Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund
22. Karen Ferguson & Karen Friedman
Pensions Rights Center
23. Randy DeFrehn
National Coordinating Committee forMultiemployer Plans
24. Robert O'Keef
Motorola Solutions
25. Caitlin Long
Morgan Stanley
26. Kenneth Feinberg
The Law Offices
of Kenneth R. Feinberg
27. Orrin Hatch
28. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Center for Retirement Initiatives, Georgetown University
29. Ian Lanoff
Groom Law Group
30. Joshua Rauh
Stanford Graduate School of Business
31. Ted Eliopoulos
California Public Employees' Retirement System
32. Edward (Ted) Siedle
Benchmark Financial Services
33. Teresa Ghilarducci
New School for Social Research
34. Denise Nappier
35. W. Thomas Reeder Jr.
Pension BenefitGuaranty Corp.
36. Hank Kim
National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems
37. Paul Singer
Elliott Management Corp.
38. Bailey Childers
National PublicPension Coalition
39. Amy Kessler
Prudential Financial
40. Judy Mares
U.S. Labor Department

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