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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

NY State Comptroller Announces Appointment of Emerging Managers Director

February 7, 2024

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the appointment of Sylvester (Sly) McClearn as director of the New York State Common Retirement Fund’s (Fund) Emerging Manager Program. He was appointed Interim Director of the Program in February 2023.

“Sylvester McClearn has a long and proven track record in the financial industry and as a member of our team,” said DiNapoli. “Mr. McClearn has the experience and the skill set needed to continue attracting innovative investment perspectives that earn solid returns, while addressing the historical inequities in the finance sector. I am confident he will help expand our successful Emerging Manager Program and uphold its role as a pathway to growth for smaller and diverse investment managers.”

The Fund’s Emerging Manager Program invests with emerging managers directly, or with the assistance of other managers or 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 direct investments by the Fund. Eighteen 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 professionals 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. 16, 2024, in Albany.

Prior to becoming the Program’s Interim Director, McClearn joined Comptroller DiNapoli’s office as a senior investment officer for the Emerging Manager Program in 2020. With the Fund, he works closely with its 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 CastleOak Securities, 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 bachelor’s degree from Fordham University, where he also serves as a Fordham Trustee Fellow.

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 $248.5 billion as of March 31, 2023. 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.