The pension scandal basically involves giving certain firms and players in the pension funds kickbacks for the right to manage portions of the funds’ resources. Essentially people who should have been protecting the fund were instead using their relationship to make money. It seems to be one of those stories where everyday you get some sort of minor revelation, and they seem to have these tangential relationships other noted figures, including Jerry Brown. Today, a former CalPERS board member is in the cross-hairs:
CalPERS has invested more than $1.4 billion with private equity firms that hired a former CalPERS board member to represent them.
Arvco Capital Research of Stateline, Nev., whose chairman, Alfred Villalobos, served on CalPERS’ governing board in the 1990s, calls itself one of the world’s top “placement agents” – and has been among the most successful at attracting investment business from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. (SacBee 6/9/09)
Both CalPERS and CalSTRS now require money managers to disclose their relationships with any placement agents. However, this move really seems inadequate to the scope of the problem. The question is when will the drip-drip-drip of little pieces of information end? It is really quite tough to regulate against a moving target, as you may end up missing some of the bigger aspects of the scandal. But this problem is bigger than just California, NY’s AG Andrew Cuomo has the investigation that seems to be the most thorough at this point.
There is sure to be more from this one…