Cook County Treasurer's Office - 12/16/1999
CHICAGO - Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas unveiled a formal investment policy, a first in the history of the office, with the help of independent experts in public policy and investment strategies.
The policy was crafted in consultation with several leading figures from the private sector, including Civic Federation Board member Carol W. Garnant, Federal Reserve Bank First Vice President William C. Conrad, William R. Quinlan of Quinlan & Grisham, Michelle R.B. Saddler of the Illinois Metroplitan Investment Fund, Loyola University business/economics Professor A.G. Malliaris and real-estate attorney Guerino "Jake" Turano.
"The key objectives, in this order, are: to keep the money safe; to maintain the proper liquidity for the needs of the taxing districts; to earn the best possible yield; and to invest, whenever possible, within the county," Pappas said. "Even though we already made quantum leaps along these lines, and we have multiplied the earnings on tax dollars, this policy sets a standard and gives taxpayers the ability to measure our performance."
The new policy includes: annual independent reviews of compliance; quarterly investment reports; collateral standards; guidelines for portfolio diversity; ethical standards; internal controls; investment maturity schedules; competitive bidding guidelines to maximize yields; and safeguards to guard against abuses.
As Cook County Treasurer, Pappas manages one of the nation's largest property tax collection systems in the nation, second only to Los Angeles. The office is responsible for the collection, safekeeping and distribution of more than $7 billion a year in property taxes from the owners of nearly 1.6 million parcels of real estate. The office also is responsible for the investment of tens of millions of dollars in county operating funds.