Thursday, April 18, 2024

Bloomberg’s money manager running for NC state treasurer

Brad Briner, who manages investments for New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg, wants to be the next N.C. state treasurer.

He filed for the GOP nomination Friday and will face AJ Daoud of Pilot Mountain and Rachel Johnson of Winston-Salem in the March primary. Dauod is a funeral home director, a veteran Republican Party activist and former commissioner of the N.C. Education Lottery. Johnson is a former banker and the wife of Mark Johnson, a former state superintendent of public instruction.

On the Democratic side, N.C. Rep. Wesley Harris and Gabe Esparza are seeking the nomination. Both live in the Charlotte area.

Efforts to reach Briner Friday were unsuccessful. Filings for state elections closed Friday.

The current treasurer, Dale Folwell, is stepping down after two terms and is running for governor. Polls show he is trailing Lt. Gov Mark Robinson in the GOP gubernatorial primary.

Folwell hasn’t endorsed a candidate for the treasurer’s job, which is among the most powerful statewide elected positions. The treasurer oversees the state’s retirement system, which exceeds $100 billion, and the State Health Plan, which provides health insurance to several hundred thousand state employees, retirees and dependents.

Briner was appointed in November to the UNC Board of Trustees in November by Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger. He’s co-chief investment officer at New York-based Willett Advisors, which he joined in 2012. He lives in Chapel Hill with his wife and four children.

The UNC release about his appointment said he “manages the philanthropic and personal investment assets” of Bloomberg, 81. The former New York mayor started  financial data and media company Bloomberg LPwhich has made him one of the world’s richest individuals.

Forbes estimates Bloomberg’s net worth at $96 billion. He’s among the leading  U.S. philanthropists, having given $14.4 billion, Forbes reports, principally for climate change, gun control and Johns Hopkins University’s medical school.

Briner previously worked in Chapel Hill for Morgan Creek Capital and the UNC Management Co., along with stops at ArcLight Capital and Goldman Sachs. He was a Morehead-Cain Scholar at UNC Chapel Hill, then earned an MBA at Harvard Business School.

He also serves on the state’s debt affordability advisory committee.

David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg is editor of Business North Carolina. Reach him at

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