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Updated: March 1, 2022, 7:54 PM

NYPD pension fund to divest $42M of Russian-issued securities investments

By Bernadette Hogan

New York City’s Police Pension fund will divest its securities investments issued by Russian companies, following a slew of state and federal sanctions boycotting Vladimir Putin’s military invasion of Ukraine.

The fund’s trustees – which include Mayor Eric Adams, city Comptroller Brad Lander and NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell – voted Tuesday directing the comptroller to divest $42.2 million following a review of its public equity and fixed income investments in Russian businesses.

Trustees wrote in the resolution passed that they’re “concerned over the Russian federation’s unprovoked invasion of the sovereign nation of Ukraine.”

“The United States government has identified the financial institutions that finance the Putin regime, as well as state-owned Russian companies that provide key services crucial to the Kremlin and the Russian military, and is in the process of identifying companies owned by Russian elites who benefit from their connections with the Kremlin,” reads the document.
“Freedom cannot be denied, here or anywhere. That’s why I stand in support of efforts to divest the city’s pension funds from Russian assets in light of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine — an unprovoked and unjustified war,” said Mayor Eric Adams in a statement.

“This is not about penalizing the Russian people, but about holding President Putin and his government accountable for violating a nation’s sovereignty and inflicting widespread suffering on its people.”

One of the biggest municipal retirement funds in the nation, the pension fund is comprised of 85,000 active members and retirees – including 36,000 active and 43,000 retired members of the NYPD.

PBA President Patrick J. Lynch — also a fund trustee — echoed his support of the anti-Russia divestment in a statement: “In all pension fund matters, we have a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of the fund’s members. This divestment was necessary in order to protect those interests.”

“Apart from the matter of pension investments, the PBA stands with the people of Ukraine against this unprovoked attack. We join our members of Ukrainian heritage in praying for the safety of their friends and family in the conflict zone. We hope for peace as soon as possible, and we pray that the forces of freedom will prevail,” he added.