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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
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NY State Comptroller DiNapoli Announces Appointment of Interim Emerging Managers Director

February 1, 2023

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the promotion of Sylvester (Sly) McClearn to interim director of the New York State Common Retirement Fund’s (Fund) Emerging Manager Program.

“Since taking office, I have made the Emerging Manager Program one of the Fund’s top priorities,” DiNapoli, trustee of the Fund, said. “Sylvester McClearn has a long and proven track record in the financial industry and I have no doubt he will continue to build on our long record of success. Now, more than ever, a diversity of perspectives and experiences is an essential asset for institutional investors. I look forward to his contributions.”

“We are extremely proud of our Emerging Managers Program and Sly has already added to our work opening the doors for up-and-coming financial managers,” said Chief investment Officer Anastasia Titarchuk. “I look forward to further working with Sly as our staff continues its dedication to performance and diversity.”

The Fund’s program invests with emerging managers directly, or with the assistance of other managers and program partners in separately managed accounts or commingled funds. Program partners assist in the timely deployment of capital, perform due diligence and recommend managers to participate in the program.

Each year, the Fund also seeks to graduate emerging managers to be mature direct investments by the Fund. More than 20 emerging managers have graduated from the program.

The Fund holds an annual Emerging Manager & MWBE (minority and women owned business entities) conference to give investment managers the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the Fund's investment process and manager selection. This year’s conference will be held on Friday, Feb. 17, 2023, in Albany, N.Y.

Prior to becoming a senior investment officer for the Fund’s Emerging Manager Program in 2020, McClearn worked at CastleOak Securities as the managing director and head of institutional products. With the Fund, he works closely with the Fund’s internal investment staff, asset class program partners and affiliate organizations on all aspects of the Emerging Manager Program.

With more than two decades of Wall Street experience, McClearn has also held various leadership positions at Loop Capital Markets, Topeka Capital Markets and Citi Institutional Client Group. Throughout his career, he has built strategic institutional relationships that improved brand recognition and enhanced returns for the largest and most sophisticated asset managers.

McClearn has an MBA and BS from Fordham University, where he also serves as a Fordham Trustee Fellow.

He will succeed Anyori "AJ" Hernandez, who was recently appointed CEO and President of the New America Alliance. Hernandez served nearly 15 years with the Fund.

“Sly will help continue the mission and goals of increasing capital access to new, small and diverse firms, including minority- and women-owned business enterprises that have the potential to diversify our portfolio and earn attractive returns for the Fund,” Hernandez said. “I strongly believe that I leave the Emerging Manager program in good hands with Sly at the helm.”

A photo of McClearn is available.

About the New York State Common Retirement Fund

The New York State Common Retirement Fund is one of the largest public pension funds in the United States with assets of approximately $233.2 billion as of Sept. 30, 2022. The Fund holds and invests the assets of the New York State and Local Retirement System on behalf of more than one million state and local government employees and retirees and their beneficiaries. The Fund has consistently been ranked as one of the best managed and best funded plans in the nation.