The senators were pleased with the nominees’ response. “There is absolutely no reason the retirement savings of service members and federal employees should be funding companies working with the Chinese government and military,” Mr. Rubio said in a statement. “It is encouraging that these nominees understand their fiduciary duties. I look forward to working with them to ensure retirement funds do not flow to those unaccountable companies.”
The FRTIB administers the $739.9 billion Thrift Savings Plan, Washington, the retirement system for 6.6 million federal employees and members of the uniformed services.
In November 2019, the board reaffirmed a 2017 decision to shift the TSP’s I Fund benchmark to the MSCI ACWI ex-U.S. Investible Market index from the MSCI EAFE index. The new index was made up of about 8% Chinese companies, according to an Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting study presented to the board in October 2019.
The decision led to pushback from senators in both parties and the Trump administration. Then-President Donald Trump in May 2020 nominated three people to the five-member board that, upon Senate confirmation, could have led to a new majority. At a subsequent meeting that May, the board decided to pause the implementation and let the new board members make the final decision.
The Trump nominees were never considered by the full Senate and President Joe Biden pulled their nominations in February 2021. Mr. Biden put forth his own nominees in September and November.
Ms. Bridges, a commissioner for the $34.4 billion San Francisco City & County Employees’ Retirement System, was nominated to a term expiring in October 2023 currently held by William S. Jasien.
Ms. Olivares, a trustee of the $448 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System, Sacramento, and board member of the Mission Advancement Corp. and the Kroll Bond Rating Agency, was selected to fill a term expiring in September 2024, replacing Ronald McCray.
Ms. Bilyeu, executive director of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators, was renominated for a third term, expiring in October 2023.
Mr. Gerber, a partner and executive committee member at FS Investments, a multistrategy alternative investment firm, and a co-founder and adviser at Intrinsic Capital Partners, a growth equity firm, was nominated to fill a term expiring later this year and a term expiring in September 2026.
Javier E. Saade, managing partner at Impact Master Holdings and venture partner at Fenway Summer, was nominated as chairman of the FRTIB. He would replace Acting Chairman David A. Jones and serve the remainder of a term expiring this year and another term expiring in October 2026. But Mr. Saade’s nomination failed to advance out of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The committee on March 30 approved the other four nominees via voice vote, but split on Mr. Saade’s nomination in a 7-7 vote. Committee Republicans opposed his nomination due to previous tweets they deemed offensive and critical of Republicans.
Because Mr. Saade’s nomination did not receive majority support in committee, it cannot move forward to the full Senate without Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., discharging it from committee.
With Mr. Rubio’s hold lifted, the Senate can now consider the other four nominees.