San Diego County Administration Building
The San Diego County Administration Building in 2021. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)

The San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office has announced that Fitch Ratings re-affirmed the San Diego County Investment Pool’s top rating.

This marks the 23rd year in a row the investment pool has received a “AAAf/S1” rating, the highest category.

The “AAAf” rating reflects the investment portfolio’s vulnerability to losses as a result of defaults in its bond holdings and is based on the actual and expected quality of the portfolio’s investments.

The “S1” Fund Market Risk Sensitivity Rating reflects the possible effect of the portfolio’s total return being vulnerable to changes in interest rates.

The ratings include Fitch’s review of the pool’s investment and credit guidelines, and the portfolio’s credit quality and diversification. 

“Our investment pool reached $15.2 billion in public funds last April, thanks to the diligent management by our investment team,” said Dan McAllister, the Treasurer-Tax Collector. “They value three principles, safeguarding the principal of the invested funds, meeting the liquidity needs of our pool participants and achieving an investment return within the parameters of prudent risk management.” 

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, chair of the county Board of Supervisors, called the rating “an important and critical evaluation of the county’s fiscal stability and outlook.”

“The county works hard to manage finances wisely, and that is reflected in this rating,” he added.

The Treasurer-Tax Collector’s team invests the funds in high-quality, fixed-income securities on behalf of the pool’s participants, who use the money for the operational and capital needs of their agencies. 

Currently, over 200 public agencies in the San Diego region invest in the pool, including all 42 public school districts, five community college districts and the San Diego Regional Airport Authority. Other public agencies such as cities, fire, and water districts are in the pool as well.

In addition to the county’s team of full-time investment professionals, a nine-member oversight committee – comprised of county, school and public agency officials and five public members – reviews the county’s investment policy statement annually. 

The investment pool’s balance has nearly tripled since 2007. It dipped once over that period, from $11.6 billion to $11.4 billion, from 2018 to 2019.