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Irvine : City Close to Naming Investment Manager

City officials are expected to announce today who will take over management of the city’s $200-million investment portfolio.

Council members on Monday afternoon interviewed three finalists for the position, formerly held by Jeff Niven, city manager of fiscal services. The council voted in April to remove Niven from the position after reviewing a report on the city’s involvement in the collapsed county investment pool.

Councilman Greg Smith said the city is looking for financial market savvy from a new treasurer in the aftermath of the city’s role as the largest municipal investor in the failed pool. Irvine had $208 million in the county pool when it collapsed last year.

Three council members are targets of a recall drive prompted by their July, 1994, approval of a plan to borrow $62 million for an additional investment in the county pool.

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“The results of the county bankruptcy showed how unbelievably complex the county portfolio was,” Smith said. “We need to assure ourselves that we never again get involved in anything like that.”

Two individuals and one investment firm were chosen as finalists from nearly 40 applicants for the part-time position.

“They all have very extensive professional backgrounds in money management for large corporations and public entities,” Smith said.

A review of the city’s actions in connection with the county pool found that no laws or city policies were violated by any city employees.

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The city’s newly appointed Investment Committee is expected to issue a report on potential losses to the city from the county bankruptcy within the next 60 days.


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