Paul Curley is Director of Savings Research at ISS Market Intelligence, where he oversees data, research, consulting and events on 529 savings plans, 529 prepaid plans and ABLE accounts for institutional clients. He is also the Editor of the 529 Dash e-newsletter and 529 Insiders website for advisors, accountants and estate planners.
Michael Fitzgerald, Treasurer of State, earned his BS degree in business administration from the University of Iowa in 1974 and was first elected treasurer in 1982. He is serving his tenth term, making him the longest serving treasurer in the country. Treasurer Fitzgerald has a proven record of providing sound financial management to the citizens of Iowa. He serves as trustee and custodian of Iowa’s three state pension funds and invests over $4 billion of state operating funds. Treasurer Fitzgerald is the administrator of Iowa’s 529 Plans, which offer families an easy, tax-advantaged way to prepare for future college tuitions and expenses. The programs currently have over $5.7 billion in college savings. When Treasurer Fitzgerald took office in 1983, unclaimed property was a little known program. In his first year as treasurer, he made it a priority and established the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt. This program has returned over $287 million to more than 546,000 past and present Iowans since 1983. The treasurer is also active in national organizations that have an impact on issues in Iowa, including College Savings Plans Network (past chair), National Association of State Treasurers (past president), National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers (past president), and National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (past president).
Michael Frerichs was elected Illinois State Treasurer in November 2014. In Illinois, the Treasurer is the state’s Chief Investment Officer and Frerichs is a Certified Public Finance Officer. The office invests money on behalf of the state and local units of government. Mike also believes in providing individuals with the tools so that they can invest in themselves. He does this by encouraging savings plans for college and trade school, increasing financial education among all ages, removing barriers to a secure retirement, and protecting residents from predatory companies. The Treasurer’s Office actively manages approximately $25 billion. The investment approach is cautious to ensure the preservation of principal. The investment returns are significant: For every $1 spent to run the office, Mike nets $28 for the state’s residents. In Illinois, the Treasurer’s office predates the state’s incorporation in 1818. Voters in 1848 chose to make it an elected office. Frerichs is the 74th person to serve in this role. After less than a year in office, Frerichs was elected by his peers across the country to be on the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers' Executive Committee. Frerichs also serves as Vice Chairman of National Association of State Treasurer’s Legislative Committee. Mike was born in the Downstate farming community of Gifford, Illinois. He graduated from Yale University and spent two years in Taiwan where he taught English to young students and learned to speak Chinese. He returned to Champaign County and launched his own technology business. He was elected to the Champaign County Board and elected Champaign County Auditor. He also served as a volunteer firefighter. In 2006, Mike was elected Illinois State Senator representing East Central Illinois. As chairman of the Higher Education Committee, Mike championed efforts to make college more affordable. He also served as chairman of the Agriculture and Conservation Committee. Mike lives in Champaign with his young daughter, Ella.
Andrea Feirstein is a Managing Director with AKF Consulting Group, which she formed in March 2002. Over the last seventeen-plus years, Ms. Feirstein has advised forty-one public administrators of consumer-facing, state-run investment plans, including 529, ABLE and Secure Choice Programs. In all, Ms. Feirstein has over 34 years’ experience in the municipal finance industry. From 1999 to 2002, she managed the proprietary 529 business for Citigroup Asset Management, with overall responsibility for engagements with the States of Colorado and Illinois. Previously she was an investment banker with Salomon Smith Barney’s Municipal Securities Division (1987 to 1999, now Citigroup), and she was a bond lawyer with Brown & Wood (1984 to 1987, now Sidley Austin LLP). Ms. Feirstein is active in the National Association of State Treasurers (“NAST”), where she currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Institute of Public Finance, a joint venture between the NAST Foundation and Pepperdine University. Ms. Feirstein is also a member of the Boards of Directors of the New York City Industrial Development Agency (the “IDA”), Build New York City (“BNYC”), and the Randalls Island Park Alliance (“RIPA”). She chairs the Finance Committees of the IDA and BNYC, and she serves as Treasurer of RIPA, where she also chairs the Finance Committee and previously chaired the Audit Committee. Ms. Feirstein graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and the University of Virginia School of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Virginia Tax Review. She is an SEC-registered, MSRB-licensed Municipal Advisor (Series 50), and was previously a FINRA-licensed Registered Representative (Series 7), Municipal Principal (Series 53) and Uniform Securities Agent (Series 63). She is a retired member of the New York Bar Association.
Part of ISS Market Intelligence, the 529 & ABLE Solutions deliver 529 and ABLE market data, research, events and digital products and services for institutional organizations. Services include proprietary data aggregation and analysis of 529 savings plans, 529 prepaid plans and ABLE accounts as well as weekly, quarterly and annual business intelligence publications covering the college financial planning market.