City Club of Chicago: Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers
December 12, 2016
Hon. Kurt Summers – Treasurer – City of Chicago
Hon. Kurt Summers
Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers is an experienced and pragmatic problem solver, a native son of Chicago, and a tireless advocate for equity and investment on behalf of working families and neighborhood communities. He has built a career dedicated to service and excellence in both the public and private sectors.
As Chicago’s City Treasurer, Kurt Summers is the steward of the city’s $7 billion dollar investment portfolio and is responsible for maintaining records and accounts of the city’s finances while ensuring transparency and accountability for all of the city’s transactions. The Treasurer also serves as a trustee or fiduciary on five of the city’s public employee pension boards with nearly $25 billion under management.
Upon taking office on Dec. 1, 2014, Summers hit the ground running. He immediately launched a listening tour to meet residents, business owners, and community leaders in each of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods in just 77 days. Summers also released a 90-Day Plan that has served as a roadmap to transform the Treasurer’s Office and is focused on leveraging Chicago’s economic power to increase investment in its residents, workers, businesses, and neighborhoods. The ideas and findings in the plan were driven by the voices of more than two thousand individuals the Treasurer met while visiting each of Chicago’s 77 communities.
As Treasurer, Summers serves as the city’s banker, investor, and advocate to empower young people, workers, and small business owners, as well as programs that promote economic growth and financial education.
Since taking office, the Treasurer has launched a savings initiative for Chicago’s 11 public employee pension funds that has the potential to save the funds $25-$50 million a year. He has implemented a national model for public transparency with a new quarterly earnings call that provides an update on the city’s finances and investment portfolio, and he’s proposed a new banking ordinance that will hold banks to a higher standard when it comes to investing in Chicago’s neighborhoods.
Summers is also the Chairman of the Chicago Infrastructure Trust (CIT), created to leverage alternative financing and project delivery for important infrastructure projects.
Born in Bronzeville, Summers saw firsthand what it meant to invest in Chicago’s communities from his grandfather, Sam Patch, who served as a senior advisor to Mayor Harold Washington. 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 Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
He currently resides on Chicago’s South Side with his wife, Helen.