Ex-Pension CIO Partially Cleared of Allegations of Hiding Poor Investment Performance, But Suspicions Remain

Graph with stacks of gold coins

A months-long probe into the ex-CIO of the Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System (PSERS) has wrapped up this week, and the results are in: the investigation found no evidence that the former CIO, Anthony Clark, lied to the pension board about the poor performance of an investment.

But, investigators say, the lack of evidence wasn’t so overwhelming as to dispel suspicion entirely. One investigator said that whether Clark lied to the pension board is still “open to question”.

Other allegations against Clark included not consistently working a full workweek and conducting personal investment business on the job. An anonymous employee at the fund had originally tipped off investigators, but the subsequent investigation uncovered no wrongdoing by Clark in those areas.
Reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

A law firm hired by the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System to investigate allegations against a former chief investment officer has found no evidence of broken laws or state rules.

But after an eight-month probe into an investment decision and the personal trading and work hours of Anthony Clark, attorneys with the firm Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel refrained from concluding whether the investment chief had deceived the SERS board over an investment with hedge fund Tiger Asset Management. The agency announced the conclusion in a letter released Wednesday.

“Obermayer found no evidence of illegality in what turned into an under-performing investment mainly due to its gold component,” wrote Walter Cohen, a past acting attorney general of Pennsylvania.

“Whether Clark intentionally misled the Board by seeking to conceal Tiger’s poor performance is open to question but the Board remained vigilant in monitoring the Tiger investment until its dissolution.”

[…]

Mr. Clark also had been accused of conducting personal investment activities at work and failing to spend a full work week on his SERS responsibilities. In his letter summarizing the firm’s findings, Mr. Cohen wrote none of his associates interviewed could substantiate the allegation of “day trading.“

Clark resigned from his position with PSERS in 2013, soon after the allegations surfaced. He hasn’t worked since.

 

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