City Club of Chicago: Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers
December 11, 2017
Hon. Kurt Summers – Treasurer – City of Chicago
Hon. Kurt Summers
Kurt Summers is a son of Chicago and a pragmatic problem solver who is passionate about serving the people of the city. As Chicago’s City Treasurer, he manages the city’s $7 billion dollar investment portfolio and is responsible for maintaining records and accounts of the city’s finances. The Treasurer sits on four local pension boards with nearly $25 billion under management.
Summers also serves as an advocate to empower young people, workers and small business owners, as well as programs that promote economic growth, financial education and government transparency. Since taking office, Summers has utilized his private and public sector experience to implement the best practices and policies for the City of Chicago and its residents through the Office of the City Treasurer. From $57 million in excess investment returns for the city’s portfolio to the development of a fund that will drive economic growth in all 77 neighborhoods, the Treasurer is focused on leveraging Chicago’s economic power to increase investment in its residents, workers, businesses and neighborhoods.
Summers began his career at McKinsey & Company, a preeminent global strategy-consulting firm. Most recently, Summers served as a Senior Vice President at Grosvenor Capital Management and a member of the Office of the Chairman. In that role, Summers was a leader of the Emerging and Diverse Manager business, which invested over $2 billion with minority- and women-owned firms. With nearly 15 years of experience in the financial services community, a background rooted in service to others has guided Treasurer Summers throughout his professional career.
Prior to his time at Grosvenor, Summers was called to serve as Chief of Staff to the Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and as the appointed Trustee for the $9 billion Cook County Pension Fund. In that capacity, Summers led county-wide reforms to provide performance management in every department. In his role as Chief of Staff for President Preckwinkle, Summers steered the closure of a
$487 million budget deficit while keeping the administration’s promise to rollback the county sales tax, saving taxpayers more than $400 million a year. Additionally, Summers aided in reforming the county’s procurement rules and helped pave the way for a more sustainable health and hospital system.
In 2008, Summers was Chief of Staff for Chicago 2016, the city’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
Summers is a lifelong Chicago resident and a graduate of Whitney Young High School. He received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with Management Distinction High Honors in Finance and International Business, with a minor in East Asian Studies, from Washington University in St. Louis. He also holds a MBA from Harvard Business School. He lives in Hyde Park with his wife Helen and their schnauzer, Boston.