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MBTA LogoThe MassDOT Board of Directors have appointed three new members to the MBTA Retirement Fund Board of Trustees, the seven-member board that administers the MBTA’s retirement system. The new members are Steven Grossman, former state Treasurer; Michael J. Heffernan, who has a lengthy track record working in the financial industry; and Betsy Taylor, current member of the MassDOT Board of Directors, who previously served as the Director of Finance and Treasury at Massport.

Created in 1970, the MBTA Retirement Board of Trustees oversees the MBTA’s $1.59 billion pension fund, which provides retirement payments to some 6,000 T retirees. While the MBTA Retirement Fund is a private trust, concerns have been expressed relative to issues of transparency and accountability. Most recently, the MBTA Special Panel noted these issues in its report, published in early April.

“With these new appointments, this Board can send a strong signal to the MBTA Retirement Fund about the need to be more transparent and accountable,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “The Retirement Fund is charged with the administration of a significant amount of money, and the Trustees owe it to the retirees and to the public to demonstrate that they can be entrusted to invest that money appropriately. On behalf of the MassDOT Board of Directors, I want to express our appreciation to Deputy General Manager Jonathan Davis and Darnell Williams for serving on the Board of Trustees, and I want to thank the newly appointed members for stepping up.”

The MBTA Retirement Fund is administered by seven trustees. Three management trustees are appointed by the MassDOT Board of Directors, one of whom must be a member of the MassDOT Board. Two trustees are designated by Local 589, the Carmen’s Union, one is elected by the non-589 union employees of the MBTA, and a seventh member is elected by the other six Trustees. The seventh member votes only in the case of a tie.

About the new MBTA Retirement Fund Trustees:

Steven Grossman, currently the CEO of The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, was Treasurer and Receiver-General of the Commonwealth from January 2011 to January 2015. As Treasurer, Mr. Grossman chaired the Pension Reserves Investment Management (PRIM) Board, which oversees the Pension Reserves Investment Trust, the fund for both state employees and school teachers. Mr. Grossman received an MBA from Harvard Business School and ran his family’s company, Massachusetts Envelope Company.

Mike Heffernan has over 25 years of experience in financial services, capital markets and entrepreneurship. Mr. Heffernan spent nearly two decades in increasingly senior roles at Citigroup’s Markets & Banking division, where he oversaw Citi’s seven U.S. Regional Distribution offices in institutional equities. He co-founded Mobiquity Inc. in 2011, a Massachusetts-based tech start up in the mobile-IT professional services space that now employs over 300 people. Earlier in his career he was a managing director at Salomon Brothers and began his career at EF Hutton & Co. before returning to Massachusetts in 1990 to help build the Boston office of NatWest Markets. Heffernan was a candidate for Massachusetts Treasurer & Receiver General in 2014.

Betsy Taylor will serve as the MassDOT Board member who would also serve as a trustee. Director Taylor is the former Director of Finance and Treasury at Massport. In that capacity she helped develop and implement a plan to address Massport’s unfunded pension liability. She has also served as the employee representative to the Massport retirement board. Ms. Taylor has an MBA from Stanford University and a BA from Oberlin College.

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