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The Power 100

Steven Grossman
State Treasurer & Chairman, MassPRIM
Boston, Massachusetts
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“So you’re nominating politicians now?” remarked one person on this list when they saw Grossman’s nomination for an aiCIOIndustry Innovation Award. When elected state treasurer in 2010, Grossman also became the head of Massachusetts’ $49.2 billion retirement system. It’s no ceremonial post for him: he’s tackled the pension’s $16 billion underfunded health benefit liabilities, secured the legislative support to lower the pension’s discount rate, and chaired the fund to returns averaging over 10%. In June, a spate of turnover at MassPRIM culminated with the longtime CIO leaving for Mercer. But Grossman’s a good man in a tight spot, or at least Bill Clinton thought so in 1996 when he asked him to chair the deeply-in-debt Democratic National Committee. “We were in the Oval Office, just the President, Al Gore, and myself. Clinton said to me, ‘You know, the DNC is in a big mess.’ I said, ‘I think I’m up for the job.’” Two years later, he reflects, “everyone had thought the party was going to go broke and it didn’t, and we won the biggest second-term congressional victory since James Monroe was president.” At MassPRIM, Grossman has secured a new CIO and discount rate, and says he “may very well” run for governor. Countless politicians have leveraged public pensions to win elections and gain power—just ask many of the people in these pages—and Grossman is one of them. But he’s betting that prudent, proactive stewardship will play better with voters than kicking the can down the road. If he’s right, the inaugural Power 100 will get a little more powerful. –LO

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