US - CalPERS will be reviewing the fees paid to third party marketers by its money managers after it learned one manager paid over US$50m to a firm owned by a former board member.
The California Public Employees' Retirement System said it received information from one of its money managers that the firm had paid $50m to ARVCO Financial Ventures, a placement agent owned by Al Villalobos.
Villalobos served on the scheme's board of trustees representing the State Personnel Board from 1993 to 1995.
CalPERS chief executive Anne Stausboll said: "The placement agent industry has been a focus of state authorities and the Securities and Exchange Commission over the last year, and we believe it prudent to conduct a full review of the matters related to these recent disclosures to us."
States across the country have banned the use of third-party marketers amid pay-to-play investigations at the New York Common Retirement Fund.
The SEC has also proposed banning the use of placement agents as a way to curb pay-to-play practices. (Global Pensions; August 27, 2009)
Just this week, California passed a law requiring public pension funds to disclose all placement agent fees. (Global Pensions; October 13, 2009)
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