New York City Comptroller wants to reform rules for pension fund managers

New York State is in the midst of investigating 20 investment firms in an effort to weed out possible conflicts of interest within the city’s pension system.

But New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer isn’t waiting for the investigation to conclude; he unveiled a plan today to create new rules regulating the behavior of the officials who manage the city’s five pension funds.

The rules are aimed at cutting out conflicts of interest within the city’s Bureau of Asset Management, which is a division of the Comptroller’s office. Currently, fund managers are only required to disclose potential conflicts of interest once a year. The new rules would make disclosure of potential conflicts a quarterly occurrence.

Some of the other proposed rules:

  • Asset managers required to undergo ethics training
  • Placement of an internal auditor and an internal audit committee
  • Increased oversight of disability payments

In 2011, then-comptroller Alan G. Hevesi was sentenced to one to four years in prison for making investment decisions in exchange for kickbacks while controlling the city’s pension fund.