January 14, 2010 |
Private investment funds paid more than $125 million in fees to scores of middlemen who helped them win business with California's giant public pension fund, a practice that has been the focus of a lengthy investigation, according to documents released this morning. The California Public Employees' Retirement System has invested in private funds represented by the middlemen, or placement agents, for more than a decade, but today CalPERS released thousands of pages of documents that offered the first significant details about the widespread practice.
January 10, 2010 |
Could there be a better advertisement for a brash, young company than to have a network TV series built around it, starring five of its gorgeous female employees and their impossibly glamorous lives? Probably not. The trick for "Fly Girls," then, will be to steer clear of infomercial territory, even though Virgin America serves as the backdrop of the reality show and its de facto sixth cast member. The hip, Richard Branson-backed airline looms large in the upcoming CW series, but the real focus is the massive amounts of melodrama surrounding the single, 20-something flight attendants who live together in a Los Angeles "crash pad" while partying, dating and jet-setting across the country.
December 17, 2009 |
The California Public Employees' Retirement System, saying it wanted to be more open and clear a cloud hanging over it, has backed proposed legislation to regulate outside investment managers' use of so-called placement agents to pitch huge private equity deals with the fund. On Wednesday, the pension fund's board endorsed a not-yet-written measure that would require such sales intermediaries to register as lobbyists with the state the same way that the people who lobby the Legislature, the governor's office and other government agencies do. Such lobbyists must disclose regularly the names of their clients and the fees they receive.
November 17, 2009 |
The beleaguered board of the California Public Employees' Retirement System tightened rules requiring outside investment managers to disclose information about the sales intermediaries who help them do business with the $200-billion pension fund. Monday's unanimous vote comes as CalPERS tries to contain growing controversy over the huge fees paid to the middlemen, so-called placement agents. New York Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo's investigation of placement agent activities resulted in the issuance of criminal charges against several state officials and political operatives.
November 16, 2009 |
Amid a growing public uproar over the way it invests its money, the California Public Employees' Retirement System is expected to toughen its 6-month-old policy requiring outside investment managers to more fully disclose their relationships with the intermediaries who pitch their products. The tougher proposals are to be discussed by the CalPERS board today as the country's largest government pension fund overhauls the way it manages its massive investments, which total $200 billion.
November 12, 2009 |
The board president of the California Public Employees' Retirement System today called for state legislation that would drastically change the way fees are paid to financial intermediaries who help investment companies get business from pension funds. The proposal by CalPERS board President Rob Feckner comes in direct response to a growing uproar over disclosures by CalPERS that investment funds it does business with have paid tens of millions of dollars in fees to so-called placement agents in recent years.
November 9, 2009 |
For much of the last decade the California Public Employees' Retirement System cultivated the image of a cutting-edge pension fund -- pouring billions of dollars into potentially lucrative but high-risk investments, hounding companies to rein-in executive pay and championing financial security for government workers. Now, CalPERS finds itself caught in a maelstrom of troubles that threatens its reputation as the gold standard for public pension funds. Slammed by huge investment losses in last year's meltdown of financial markets, the nation's largest public retirement plan faces questions about its long-term ability to make good on the benefits it owes more than 1.6 million workers, retirees and their families.
November 6, 2009 |
The board president of the nation's biggest public employee pension fund is urging his fellow directors to avoid private meetings with go-betweens who help pitch private-equity investments to the fund. The California Public Employees' Retirement System board has ordered an outside investigation of the role of those intermediaries, known as placement agents, in the agency's massive investments, and board President Rob Feckner said members should not associate with the agents, at least for now. Feckner's memo, issued Thursday afternoon, came as his agency is buffeted by growing concerns about the role of intermediaries, money and influence in CalPERS decisions and calls for reforms in the way CalPERS handles its affairs.
October 15, 2009 |
The nation's largest public pension fund, the California Public Employees Retirement System, has begun a "special review" of fees paid by its external investment managers to so-called placement agents. The agents help outside funds to win big investment management contracts with the $200-billion pension system, known as CalPERS. The review was ordered after CalPERS received information it had requested from fund managers about the fees paid to placement agents and their lobbying and sales activities with the giant pension.