Leona M. Bridges Board Commissioner San Francisco Employees Retirement System

by LP Green, II


As one of the commissioners on the Board of the San Francisco Employees Retirement System (SFERS), Leona M. Bridges helps to outline directives to manage and invest a fund that is valued at $20.6 billion. Because of her investment management expertise, Bridges also chairs the Investment Committee for the fund. The Retirement Board is composed of seven members: three members elected by the active and retired members of SFERS; three members appointed by the mayor in accordance with sub section 12.100 of the San Francisco City Charter; and one member of the Board of Supervisors appointed by the president of the board. The role of the SFERS Board is to establish and to follow policies governing the administration, management, and operation of San Francisco’s retirement plans; to manage the investment of the retirement system’s assets; to approve disability benefit determinations; and to approve actuarial assumptions used to fund long-term benefit promises of the SFERS Pension Plan.

Previously, Bridges was a Director for the Municipal Transportation Agency and was a commissioner for the San Francisco Parking Authority of the City & County of San Francisco, where she continues to serve on the Bond Oversight Committee. Bridges has over 20 years of financial and investment experience that is well suited in her role of protecting the pensions of San Francisco retirees and the related investments including her former position as Managing Director for Barclays Global Investors of San Francisco. Also, Bridges serves on the Board of Progress Investment Management Co., LLC.

For more than two decades, Bridges was a Managing Director at BlackRock, which is one of the world’s largest asset managers. Protecting assets and empowering communities comes naturally to Bridges.

During her extensive career in the financial services industry, Bridges focused on asset management as it related to global securities lending/trading, cash management, custody services, client service, and business development. These duties and responsibilities provided her an opportunity to work closely with many pension plans, which equipped her for the role at SFERS.
Additionally, she was responsible for establishing and maintaining civic and community relationships. Her community and non-profit board involvement includes the San Francisco State University Foundation, West Bay Local Development Corporation, American Baptist
Seminary of the West, and Golden Gate University Ageno School of Business Advisory Council. Additionally, Bridges is a member of the National Social Action Commission of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Bridges made a decision to accept a commission appointment to fully explore community and public service and giving back to others. She endowed a scholarship in the College of Business to support economically and educationally disadvantaged students at San Francisco State University and serves on the University’s foundation. And after completing two and a half years on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Bridges was asked by Mayor Ed Lee to move over to SFERS because of her investment expertise and
community commitment. As a Commissioner with SFERS, Bridges is part of an experienced and knowledgeable team that administers two benefit programs for active and retired members – a Pension Plan (defined benefit plan) and a 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan
(defined contribution plan).

Bridges, who has an MBA from Golden Gate University’s Ageno School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from San Francisco State University. Securing the future for young people and protecting the funds for retirees is a hallmark of Bridges’ life work. She is actively involved in her community and believes that “we should always be a blessing to others.”

Bridges is the recipient of many prestigious awards and received an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from American Baptist Seminary of the West, Berkeley, CA.

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