Riverside County Treasurer-Tax Collector Don Kent will be taking over as the county’s chief financial officer next month, following the retirement of current CFO Paul McDonnell, it was announced Friday.
Kent, 48, is following his former boss for the second time in his career with the switch. When McDonnell stepped down as treasurer in fall 2008 to serve as CFO, then-Assistant Treasurer Kent was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to fill the vacancy. He was ultimately elected to the seat.
McDonnell, 66, informed the board several months ago that he intended to retire. Kent will assume financial officer duties on Aug. 3, advising the board on budgetary matters concerning all departments.
He has spent 20 years in the Office of the Treasurer-Tax Collector, landing a management position there after working in investor relations for PaineWebber Inc.
During his tenure, Kent shepherded the county’s $8 billion investment pool through the Great Recession, staving off losses in spite of the pool’s exposure to government bonds of all durations.
The pool, which serves as the repository for revenues collected not only to meet the county’s obligations, but also those of special districts, school districts and community colleges, reached record-high valuations under Kent’s watch.
McDonnell served as CFO between November 2008 and December 2009, then left for a job in the private sector, but returned to serve as CFO once again in the summer of 2015. He was the county’s chief tax authority between 1998 and 2008.
With Kent’s move to the Executive Office, the board on Tuesday will consider whether to appoint Assistant Treasurer Jon Christensen to fill the vacancy.
Christensen has been in his current post for nine years, prior to which he held several investment positions in the private sector. He’s a Riverside County native, according to the Executive Office.