Welcome! Login | Register

Subscribe Now: Free Daily EBlast

 
 

Siedle’s Pension Investigation Crowdfunding Project Breaks 52%

Monday, April 20, 2015

 

Edward Siedle

Edward Siedle, the former SEC lawyer and Forbes columnist who started a Kickstarter campaign to crowdsource an investigation of the Rhode Island pension system, announced Monday that the project is now 52% funded.

The project has raised $10,490 of a $20,000 goal. The deadline for pledges is 5pm on Wednesday, April 29.

“With nine days left to go, on this Patriots Day we need to step up our pace in this amazing race toward our $20,000 finish line. This is a golden opportunity to encourage your friends and colleagues to participate in this historic first-ever crowdfunded state pension investigation,” wrote Siedle in an email to supporters.
 
“Why is it so important for Rhode Islanders that this project succeed? Because banding together small contributions is the only way that hard-working taxpayers can get the facts behind complex, secretive pension investments,” continued Siedle. “Armed with expert analysis, you can challenge questionable backroom dealings, as well as monitor the pension going forward.”
 
“For once, let Rhode Island lead the way in pension transparency and integrity,” Siedle concluded.

Siedle has previously investigated then-General Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s pension investments in 2013.

 

Related Slideshow: RI Public Pension Reform: Wall Street’s License To Steal

See the key findings from Forbes' columnist Edward Siedle, who unveiled his investigative report into the RI pension system, "License to Steal," in October 2013.  

"The Employee Retirement System of Rhode Island has secretly agreed to permit hedge fund managers to keep the state pension in the dark regarding how its assets are being invested; to grant mystery hedge fund investors a license to steal, or profit at its expense using inside information; and to engage in potentially illegal nondisclosure practices," said Siedle.  

Prev Next

Treasurer’s Lack of Transparency

 
"There has been a sinister pall of secrecy regarding fundamental investment information orchestrated by state officials and aided by key investment services providers. "
Prev Next

So-Called Pension Reform Scheme Permanently Reduces Benefits To Retirees

"Whether retirees receive any COLA will depend upon both ERSRI’s funding level and the Fund’s actual investment returns—both of which are volatile, unpredictable and subject to manipulation by elected officials and others. The manipulation of both of these key goalposts has already begun. "

Prev Next

SEC Should Investigate ERSRI’s Failure to Disclose Skyrocketing Investment Expenses 

 
"The Treasurer has intentionally withheld information about soaring investment fees which is material in assessing both whether ERSRI should invest in costly alternative investments and whether benefit cuts are necessary to improve pension funding."
Prev Next

Lose-Lose: Alternative Investments Both Reduce Returns and Increase Risk 

 
"The Treasurer’s representations regarding the level of risk related to ERSRI’s hedge fund investments are wholly inconsistent with the hedge fund managers’own words."
Prev Next

ERSRI Agrees To Be Kept In The Dark, Grants Mystery Investors Licenses to Steal and Consents To Potential Nondisclosure Illegalities 

 
"The outrageous nondisclosure policies detailed in the hedge fund offering documents cause these investments to be, at a minimum, inherently impermissible for a public pension, such as ERSRI, if not illegal."
Prev Next

Heightened Risks Related To Hedge Fund Offshore Regulation And Custody

 
"There is no evidence the State Investment Commission was aware of, or ever considered, the unique risks related to foreign regulation of hedge funds."
Prev Next

SEC Should Investigate Questions Surrounding ERSRI’s Point Judith Venture Investment

 
"The Treasurer has made numerous public statements regarding the performance of the Point Judith II fund she formerly managed and sold to ERSRI, as well as released summary performance figures which are strikingly divergent. [...] In order to prevent any possible confusion or misleading of investors, the SEC should investigate Point Judith II performance claims."
Prev Next

Rhode Island Ethics Commission Opinion And “Blind Trust” Fail to Address Conflicts Regarding Point Judith Investment

 
"The Treasurer notably failed to mention in her letter to the Ethics Commission that the state was a limited partner in the Point Judith fund and may have broad rights in the fund that conflict with hers. Further, she may have special rights that permit her to profit at the state’s expense."
Prev Next

SEC Should Investigate ERSRI Investment Consultant Conflicts, Payments From Money Managers

 
"The investment consultant retained to provide objective advice regarding alternatives, Cliffwater LLC, has disclosed in its SEC filings that it receives compensation from investment managers it recommends or selects for its clients, including Brown Brothers Harriman which manages $272 million for ERSRI."
Prev Next

“Pay To Play” Placement Agent Abuses at ERSRI

 
"Rather than undertake an independent investigation in response to an SEC inquiry, ERSRI relied upon its then investment consultant, PCG, for objective advice regarding controversial placement agent fees—at a time when PCG itself was embroiled in a national pay-to-play scandal."
 
 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

 
Delivered Free Every
Day to Your Inbox
 
:!