LA Controller wants city pension funds to divest Russian investments

Los Angeles Comptroller Ron Galperin on Tuesday urged the city to identify all Russian investments held by the city’s three retirement plans and take steps to divest them in response to the Russian invasion of the Ukraine.

The city has a total of $46.2 million in Russian securities as of March 31 in its three retirement plans: Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions, City of Los Employees Retirement System Angeles and the Water and Electric Employees Retirement Plan, according to Galperin’s office. .

“Because of the heinous war crimes committed by Russia, I believe the City of Los Angeles should explore all options and take all measures within its power to support the people of Ukraine,” Galperin said.

Galperin added that he understands “there are financial complexities to consider when discussing the divestment of current assets, but acting in solidarity with those who are hurting and taking a strong stand against violations of international law is in the interest of current and former City employees, and Los Angeles residents.

Pension funds have assets of more than $74 billion, with more than 100,000 registrants, according to Galperin’s office, which said fund boards have sole and exclusive responsibility for making decisions regarding investments. Galperin said he sent a letter to the chairs of pension boards urging them to identify Russian investments and take steps to divest them.