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September 1, 2009

 

Report Finds DiNapoli Investments Followed Protocol

Mercer Group Report Indicates Substantial Compliance During DiNapoli Tenure

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today released an independent report that determined the New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund) investments approved by the Comptroller between February 2007 and February 2009 satisfied internal investment policies and procedures, with a minor deviation noted in one of the 112 transactions approved over that two-year period.

“Since taking office, I’ve made it a priority to manage the state pension fund with greater transparency and accountability to the public,” DiNapoli said. “This report is an important affirmation that we have adhered to policies and procedures put in place to protect the interests of the Fund. We’re working to ensure the unethical practices of the past administration will not be repeated.”

The Mercer Sentinel Group review covered 40 public equity transactions, 33 real estate transactions, 28 private equity transactions, nine transactions in the absolute return strategies portfolio, and two fixed-income investments. Mercer’s review found compliance with investment policies and procedures in place at the time of each transaction, with a minor exception identified in one transaction.

DiNapoli hired Mercer to conduct the independent review in March when he announced the findings and recommendations of the Pension Fund Task Force.

Since taking office in February 2007, DiNapoli has:

  • Initiated quarterly reporting of Fund performance;
  • Started monthly reporting on investment transactions completed by the Fund since February 2007, including placement agent and intermediary information where applicable;
  • Created and filled the positions of Inspector General and Special Counsel for Ethics;
  • Strengthened the internal investment evaluation process to include review by the heads of all asset classes, external advisers, and the Inspector General and Special Counsel;
  • Expanded and strengthened external advisory committees to enhance external review of investment procedures and decisions; and
  • Banned the use of third-party placement agents from Fund investments.

Click here for a copy of the Mercer report.

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