US - A jury has cleared investment management firm Alliance Capital Management of any wrongdoing in a law suit brought by the State Board of Administration of Florida (SBA), which manages the nation's fourth largest pension fund.
The SBA filed the law suit more than three years ago, claiming the company breached its fiduciary duty in the management of the US$108bn Florida Retirement System (FRS) pension fund, in relation to its investment in Enron stock.
The pension fund was seeking more than US$1bn, including punitive damages.
The jury this week found Alliance was not liable for purchasing Enron stock for the fund or allegedly failing to properly apply its investment process. In addition, the jury found the SBA liable to pay Alliance US$1,113,445 in unpaid investment management fees.
Commenting on the verdict, SBA executive director Coleman Stipanovich, said: “We are extremely disappointed in [the] ruling. The SBA acts solely in the best interest of the more than 850,000 active members and retirees of the FRS.
“We took legal action to recover Enron losses, which we believe could have been avoided, in the portfolio managed by Alliance Capital Management.”
He added: “This verdict does not compromise our strong commitment to safeguard FRS pension fund assets, now or in the future.”
The SBA manages US public pension funds with combined assets under management of US140bn, including the FRS fund.
Alliance Capital said both parties have agreed that the verdict will not be appealed.
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