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New York review concludes state pension fund "thinly staffed"

Pensions & Investments | by Robert Steyer | February 20, 2013

New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, is "thinly staffed" for such a large and complex fund, especially in several asset classes, an independent advisory firm reported Tuesday.

Insufficient staffing has caused the fund to delay achieving long-term asset allocation targets, to rely more on consultants than many peers and to have higher investment management costs because it cannot "efficiently gain exposure to various asset classes and management styles," according to a report reviewing the $150.1 billion pension fund by Funston Advisory Services.

"While these issues have not prevented the fund from managing the existing investment program effectively, it has slowed development and implementation of new strategies," the report said.

In addition to low staffing levels, the Funston report attributed some fund shortcomings to the "turmoil" in the last decade relating to the 2007 pay-for-play scandal involving former Comptroller Alan Hevesi and the 2008-2009 economic crisis.

 

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