HARTFORD—House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora on Thursday announced his appointment of former General Assembly member Harry Arora to the state’s Investment Advisory Council (IAC), a panel that assists the State Treasurer with investment policies.
Arora, of Greenwich, is a finance professional who served two terms as the state representative from the 151st Assembly District after winning a special election for the seat in January 2020. During his time in the legislature, Arora, 53, served as House Ranking Member of the legislature’s Labor and Public Employees Committee. He went on to become the Republican nominee for State Treasurer in 2022.
“Harry’s substantial expertise in the arena of finance and investment will be invaluable to the council, and his acceptance of this volunteer post is critical at a time when the eyes of the legislature, public employees, and all taxpayers are on Connecticut’s underperforming pension investments,” said Candelora (R-86). “Residents should expect Harry to inject fresh ideas and perspectives into the discussion about how our state manages this vital responsibility.”
Aside from ex-officio representation from the State Treasurer and the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, as well as union representation, the IAC includes five members of the public who are appointed by the Governor and legislative leaders. The council’s duties include providing advice to the State Treasurer on high-level investment and shareholder policies issues, performance benchmarks, and institutional investment procedures.
Arora, who has spent more than 20 years as a commodities and macro-focused investment manager, also starting his investment management firm in Greenwich, said he appreciates the trust Candelora has shown in his ability to positively impact Connecticut’s investment strategy.
“The CT Retirement and Trust Funds have over $45 billion in assets. The state has, in recent years, deposited nearly $6 billion to plug the deficit in the pension trust funds. It is no secret that the returns on our state’s pension assets have been below par. The pension deficit would have been much smaller had our investment returns been more in line with industry averages. It is time we take concrete action to improve our pension funds’ investment performance,” Arora said. “I look forward to working with State Treasurer Erick Russell, Chairwoman Ellen Shuman, and other members of the Investment Advisory Council to help us get on a path to outperformance. Each percent of outperformance strengthens our pensioners’ obligations and reduces the burden on our taxpayers.”
Candelora’s appointment of Arora comes on the heels of a study from Yale researchers who found that the state’s return on its pension fund investments is among the nation’s worst.
Arora’s appointment became effective July 1 and runs through June 30, 2027.
Arora came to the United States from India as a graduate student 27 years ago and naturalized as an American citizen in 2004. He has an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering, an MBA in finance from the University of Texas at Austin, and Masters in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School.
Learn more about the IAC here.