Chicago’s Emanuel Names Grosvenor Executive as Treasurer

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel named Kurt Summers Jr., senior vice president of investment firm Grosvenor Capital Management, as treasurer four months before the city’s election.

The appointment is effective Dec. 1, pending city council approval. It comes as Emanuel, a first-term Democrat, awaits council action on the $8.9 billion budget that he proposed last week. The spending plan avoids increases in property, sales or fuel taxes even as Chicago faces mounting pension obligations. Summers is former chief of staff to Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board.

“Kurt Summers has the energy. Kurt Summers has the work ethic,” Emanuel said in announcing the nomination. “And Kurt Summers has the integrity to serve in public life.”

The third most-populous U.S. city found a partial solution to its retirement-funding deficit in June after state lawmakers restructured two of Chicago’s four pensions, affecting about 60,000 municipal workers and retirees. The changes didn’t apply to the police and fire pension systems, though, and those had combined unfunded liabilities of $10.1 billion in 2012, according to the Civic Federation, a nonprofit fiscal watchdog.

Summers succeeds Stephanie Neely, who announced this week that she won’t seek re-election. Neely, who was appointed by former Mayor Richard M. Daley in October 2006, will resign her position on Nov. 30 to return to the private sector, Lilia Chacon, her spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

Chicago residents will select a new treasurer in the Feb. 24 election.

Summer said he intends to run in February and plans to foster investment throughout the city.

“If we effectively utilize and mobilize our financial capital, we can invest in the type of economic development and job creation that can impact every single neighborhood,” said Summers, who grew up on the city’s South Side.

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