Friday, May 15, 2009

New York City’s Fire Department Pension Bans Placement Agents

New York City’s Fire Department Pension Fund, which held assets of about $5 billion on March 31, has suspended use of middlemen to obtain investments, city Comptroller William Thompson said.

The decision is the third time a New York City pension fund has stopped allowing placement agents to act as intermediaries with investment firms.

The New York City Employees’ Retirement System, the city’s largest fund, and the Police Pension Fund acted earlier this month. The two remaining pensions are the Teachers’ Retirement System and the Board of Education Retirement System. The five funds had combined assets of $77.1 billion on March 31, the comptroller’s office said in a news release.

Thompson said he recommended banning placement agents after Attorney General Andrew Cuomo began an investigation into their use in dealings with the state pension system. The probe has expanded nationwide.