When Americans vote, many positions on the ballot don’t even make sense to us. A superintendent? A comptroller? However vague they may sound, these “down-ballot” posts can sway everything from the lunch your kids eat at school to the way the subway system runs. New York State candidate for Comptroller Jonathan Trichter joins “American Enough” to tell us what the hell a comptroller is and why he suited up as a Republican to change the game.
Jonathan Trichter is an investment banker and expert in public pensions and public finance. He has worked for J.P. Morgan, the restructuring firm MAEVA Group LLC and served on underwriting teams for the largest municipal bond issuers in the country. His work has helped state and local governments identify major long-term liabilities that were previously unaccounted for.
Active in New York government, policy and civic causes for decades, Jonathan spent his early career in New York City government and on political campaigns. He worked for the New York Public Interest Group both in high school and through college.
At J.P. Morgan, Jonathan covered the Office of New York State Comptroller and put together a complete directory of New York’s outstanding bonds to provide the details of the State’s debt profile for the incoming Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli.
In 2010, Jonathan served as policy director on Harry Wilson’s campaign for New York State Comptroller. His work included researching and contributing to white papers on the New York State’s pension system that were covered extensively by the media and helped earn Mr. Wilson the endorsement of every major newspaper in the State, including The New York Times.
Jonathan went on to work for Mr. Wilson’s restructuring firm, MAEVA, where he was a key leader on the largest out-of-court pension consent process in a corporate restructuring in recent years for a private sector workout. He later ran a municipal restructuring subsidiary of MAEVA, which was tapped by the Pew Charitable Trusts to work on public pension restructurings across the county. In this capacity, Jonathan helped lead some of the most meaningful pension reforms implemented by cities and states at that time. In Jacksonville, Florida he worked with Mayor Alvin Brown and the Police and Fire unions to restructure one of the most distressed public-safety pensions in the country; the work ultimately preserved the system’s defined benefit status via a consensual solution that saved the city $1.5 billion while funding the pension plan in a reasonable period without major benefit cuts to its members.
Jonathan spent 2014 working for a venture capital firm owned by his wife’s family. There he managed a digital media startup, serving as its President in preparation for a key round of financing. With his background in communications, Jonathan took monthly traffic from under 2 million “uniques” per month to over 7 million in just 60 days. Afterwards, he worked directly with the VC firm’s chairman on a successful Series A, in which Discovery Communications led the round along with participation from Softbank, RRE Ventures, Greycroft Partners and Sterling.
In 2015, Jonathan returned to MAEVA as a principal.
Jonathan has published numerous articles and op-eds in The New York Times, The New York Post, The Daily News and others. His commentary has appeared on local news and national networks. He served as an adjunct professor at Fordham University in the political science department, and he founded a polling institute at Pace University.
He is a graduate of Emory University and resides in New York City on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with his wife, the Executive Editor of Seventeen Magazine, and son. He is also an ironman triathlete, marathoner and open-water swimmer, but mostly before his son was born.