San Bernardino, CA — Treasurer Oscar Valdez announced today that expert management and conservative policies have earned the County’s $6.4+ billion investment pool AAAf/S1 ratings from independent credit-rating firm, Fitch Ratings. “The County’s rating of AAAf/S1 from Fitch Ratings is the highest possible rating for an investment pool of this type,” stated Valdez.
In the San Bernardino County Investment Pool Full Rating Report issued May 7, 2018, Fitch Ratings attributed the strength of the pool to the County Treasurer’s investment management oversight, operational controls, and conservative investment policies. The report stated, “The San Bernardino County Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector has an extensive track record of management of this pool. Stability and diversification of underlying assets, as well as stable performance, substantiate this fact.”
The report also noted, “The appointment of Mr. Valdez reflects the pool’s continuity of process and organizational stability,” referring to the appointment of Oscar Valdez to the vacated elected position of Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector by the Board of Supervisors in February 2016. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Valdez served as the San Bernardino County Assistant Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector and was responsible for the management and oversight of the Auditor, Controller, Disbursements, and Treasurer Divisions for the County.
The report further stated, “The ‘AAAf’ Fund Credit Quality Rating reflects the portfolio’s (low) vulnerability to losses as a result of defaults in its bond holdings and is based on the actual and prospective average credit quality of the portfolio’s investments. The ‘S1’ Fund Market Risk Sensitivity Rating reflects the relative (low) sensitivity of a portfolio’s net asset value to assumed changes in credit spreads and interest rates, as well as certain other market risk parameters, taking into account the effects of leverage, where applicable.”
For Fiscal Year 2016-2017, the pool yielded over $50 million in investment earnings. San Bernardino County’s investment pool is made up of property tax dollars and local government agency funds. Together, they constitute the treasury for all of the County’s school districts, community college districts, departments, and many special districts. The Treasurer is responsible for holding and safely investing the pooled funds for the County and over 200 local agencies depositing funds into the pool.
The full Fitch Ratings report and additional County investment information can be found at www.sbcounty.gov/atc.