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Apr 14, 2017
MEDIA KIT March 2015
Mr. Burnett, making his first bid for elective office, has built a
strong private-sector rsum in 20 years on Wall Street. He grew
up in East New York, Brooklyn, and Jamaica, Queens, and earned
degrees from New York University and Cornell University.
(New York Times, October 30, 2013)
John Burnett is what NYCs comptrollers job needsHe is a
genuine only in New York story.
(New York Post, October 30, 2013)
John is a natural entrepreneur with an innate business sense. At six years old, he started selling candy to
classmates, optimizing the opportunity to sell sweets before and after lunch. A few years later, he honed his
culinary skills and baked oatmeal cookies from scratch, hiring his mother and three sisters to sell the homemade
goodies to their coworkers and friends.
Johns first job was passing out flyers for a jewelry store in Queens Village after school when he was in the eighth
grade. By the time he reached his sophomore year in high school, he was managing the jewelry store. After
graduating from Andrew Jackson High School, he worked as a cashier at Pathmark. It was my first experience as
a union guy, said John. For me it was normal, both my parents were union workers.
Johns first encounter with investing money began while growing up in East New York and Jamaica, Queens. His
mother insisted he tithe 10 percent of his snack allowance at the church his family attended in Brooklyn. Dont
rob God, shed say. If you sow good seed, it will come back to you. That moral voice has guided John
throughout his personal and professional life.
After one year at Borough of Manhattan Community College I was bored and itching to go where the money
is Wall Street John started his 20-year career in finance as a margin analyst at then, Dean Witter Reynolds,
which became Morgan Stanley. They invested in a 20-year-old kid who, at the time, had only a dream and a
willingness to work hard.
Looking back, Dean Witter and me both got an incredible return, said John. He subsequently worked at Smith
Barney where he rose to vice president and director at Merrill Lynch. But there was one pledge John failed to
keep to his parents and that was to graduate from college.
So, while managing a budding Wall Street career, he enrolled at New York University. He earned a bachelors
degree in four years by attending classes after work, while leading a division at Citigroup. Every year, I enrolled
in 10 to 12 credits per semester and about 16 credits during the summer while leading my division. My mother
was sick with congestive heart failure and I made her promise she would live to see me graduate. She died a few
months before I walked across the stage, but she knew that I had the determination to reach my goal and she
was there with me in spirit.
John went on to earn an MBA at Cornell University and continued to climb the corporate ladder at Merrill Lynch
and The McGraw-Hill companies.
Throughout Johns career in the financial services industry, he learned how to manage money and people in a
highly interdependent global economy where a tsunami in Thailand or terrorist bombing at a London subway
can have a substantial impact on investment within minutes.
John has overseen financial advisors and global wealth portfolio managers at the worlds most prestigious
financial institutions including Morgan Stanley, Smith Barney and Merrill Lynch. He has led global compliance
initiatives on business ethics, corporate governance, enterprise risk management, audit reviews and regulatory
examination; all of which served to enhance operations, effectiveness of target operating models and
organizational policies to achieve optimal results.
John is a former candidate for New York City comptroller and currently works as an independent business
consultant. He is a resident of Harlem, New York.
AREAS OF EXPERTISE AND ISSUES OVERVIEW
Financial Services: Burnett has received numerous professional
credentials over the years. He has held five financial-services
industry licenses: Series 7, Series 9, Series 10, Series 63, and
Series 65. As Burnett explains, These are licenses for financial
adviser, for portfolio management, state securities licensing,
as well as the supervisory licenses to oversee financial advisors
and portfolio managers. He maintained these certificates
until 2010; he had been working at McGraw Hill Financial since
2008 and no longer needed them. Burnett used these licenses
and his business training in previous positions. He has worked
at Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and other top-drawer financial
houses. (National Review, September 10, 2013)
Education: John is no stranger to the importance of education.
As a full-time employee on Wall Street, he managed to complete
his undergraduate degree at New York University in four years
by attending night classes. As candidate for comptroller, John
ran on the Independent School Choice line. In New York, there is no political party that represents the interests
of school choice aggressively and consistently, which gives parents financial support so they can choose the kind
of education that best suits their childrens needs. As part of the School Choice Party, Burnett was committed to
improving New York Citys public school system.
Technology and Communications: Over the past several years John has written extensively about the
importance of smartphones and mobile technology and their profound contribution in bridging the digital
divide. Recently, he has weighed in on the patent dispute between Apple and Samsung. John believes that legal
battle, like so many others, is anti-competitive and therefore harmful for consumers who benefit from a free and
Energy: In September 2013, New York Citys unemployment rate stood at 7.5%, at par with the national
average. To reverse this trend and create well-paying jobs in the city, Burnett promised, if elected as comptroller,
to use the power of my office to support and facilitate and create projects such as the renovation of Midtown
East, which would replace old, out-of-date buildings with new technology compatible, energy efficient new
constructions. (The South Asian Times, September 21, 2014). He has consistently recognized the tremendous job
opportunities in the energy industry, particularly for African-American and Latino workers. Those jobs enable
families to buy homes, invest in the education of their children, put away money for retirement and finally take
the journey down the path to create generational wealth. (Roll Call, January 16, 2014)
SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILE
IN THE NEWS
The Cybercurrency Dilemma
U.S. News & World Report, February 3, 2015
Given the lessons from the 2008 financial meltdown in which institutional and retail investors placed huge bets
on the housing market through complex collateralized mortgage obligation bonds and swaps contracts, there
should be baseline disclosure, reporting and oversight requirements for virtual currencies.This will be no easy
task. It will require an exceedingly light regulatory touch that protects consumers and investors, while preserving
the freedom that has allowed bitcoin to flourish and that will enable it to evolve.
Oil Folly in the Last Frontier
US News & World Report, January 20, 2015
Now is not the time to be creating any kind of uncertainty about a project already taking tangible steps toward
a goal that has eluded Alaskan political and business leaders for decades: tapping one of the largest proven gas
reserves in the United States. Why is this not the time for that? Well, for Alaskans, moving ahead with this project
would be the shot in the arm for its moribund economy, creating thousands of construction jobs. More than
that, it will help the state diversify a tax base that is overly reliant on revenues from the unpredictable oil market.
Indeed, falling oil prices have turned a projected $1 billion budget shortfall in the Alaskan state budget into a
projected $3.5 billion shortfall. All in a matter of a few months!
Big Labors Crusade Against Franchise Businesses
US News & World Report, January 13, 2015
No one would argue that individual franchise operators never