How PSERS Project Newton Pittsburgh Fig. Frank Ryan, a Republican from outside Harrisburg.

[ How PSERS’s secret ‘Project Newton’ grew from Pittsburgh billionaire’s Fig ]
Trustees of the $57 billion pension fund for public school employees bet $100 million on a new investment with an I-Spy name ‘Project Newton”‘ run by a manager PSERS wouldn’t name.

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Among those voting no were Democratic state Treasurer Joe Torsella, acting banking secretary Richard Vague, and State Rep. Frank Ryan, a Republican from outside Harrisburg.

Those three have challenged the massive fund’s penchant for private investments, which they associate with high fees and low returns.

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In short, the professional money people on the board did not see Project Newton as genius. But they were outnumbered by the teachers’ union reps and retirees, led by a pair of high school history teachers and a pair of state senators ‘ John P. Blake (D., Lackawanna) and Pat Browne (R., Lehigh) ‘ who can usually be counted on to buy into the exotic investments the pension fund staff and consultants recommend.

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