Tag: Reynolds Williams

Senate Panel Investigates Curtis Loftis Pension Complaints

A panel of four senators began hearings last week on the complaints of SC Treasurer Curtis Loftis about the SC Retirement System Investment Commission.

Panel co-chairman Sen. Joel Lourie said he hopes the panel can settle the complaints of the treasurer about what Loftis calls corruption and wasteful spending at the SCRSIC.

Since taking office and becoming a statutory member of the SCRSIC, Loftis has complained about the high fees paid by the commission, the low investment results despite these fees and the perks enjoyed by employees as well as the cloak of secrecy surrounding the decisions the employees make.

Curtis Loftis and SCRSIC Dysfunction

Early reporting on a recently released report by S.C. Inspector General Patrick Maley heralds no criminal wrongdoing at the S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission (SCRSIC) but acknowledges a dysfunctional relationship with S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis.

The report was generated three months after Loftis sent the Attorney General’s Office a 37 page complaint listing multiple potential misconduct “red flags” at the commission over a several year period.

While the report claims no criminal misconduct, it acknowledges a toxic relationship between Loftis, a statutory member of the commission, and remaining commission members.

Opponents Hit Out at Curtis Loftis

Opponents of S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis are trying to discredit the settlement he reached recently with Bank of New York Mellon over past investments directed by the bank.

Loftis said the overall value of the settlement is over $100 million. S.C. Retirement Systems Investment Commission chairman Reynolds Williams called it “measly.”

This is another round in the ongoing battle between Loftis and Reynolds. Shortly after Loftis took office in January 2011, Williams tried to smear Loftis with allegations he was involved in a pay to play scheme with potential investment brokers.

Treasurer Loftis Target of More Dirty Politics

S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis has once again been subjected to political attacks by the members of the S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission.

Loftis, one of seven commissioners, and the only constitutional officer on the commission, has taken his job of overseeing the policy and performance the retirement system fund too seriously for the six political appointees on the commission.

Two years ago, current commission chairman Reynolds Williams, a long-time member of the commission appointed by Sen. Hugh Leatherman, attempted to smear Loftis by alleging he and an acquaintance were involved in a ‘pay to play’ scheme with SCRSIC funds. Williams’ attempt included efforts to have Loftis removed from the commission by the S.C. General Assembly.

Curtis Loftis Criticizes Underperforming SC Pension Fund

South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis again criticized the underperformance of the pension funds controlled by the S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission recently.

Speaking of the year end results for 2012, Loftis said, “It is unfortunate that the SC Investment Commission chooses not to tell the whole story about the state’s $27 billion pension fund. Our fund performs in the bottom third compared with our peers. That low performance is costing us big money. By being below average, South Carolina is leaving $175 million on the investment table.”

Since assuming the office of treasurer, Loftis has been a critic of the SCRSIC for poor performance, wasteful spending, lack of transparency and conflicts of interest.

Curtis Loftis Will Seek Re-Election as Treasurer

South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis confirmed yesterday that he will seek re-election to his current office ending any speculation about his candidacy for governor in 2014.

This is important news for the citizens of South Carolina. Loftis brings openness, integrity and accountability to the job. He has been especially vigilant in attempting to end the secrecy and questionable practices of the S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission, of which he is a voting member.

Those efforts to reform the SCRSIC made Loftis the target of an attempted political smear campaign in late 2011 featuring “leaked documents” and bogus claims of a supposed kickback scheme by two investment firms with close connections to, then, retirement system CEO Robert Borden.

Public Pension Fund Commission Looks to Increase Budget

The South Carolina public pension fund commission is looking for a large increase in its operating budget in the upcoming fiscal year.

Officially named the South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission, the agency is proposing an increase in operating budget from today’s $10 million to $14 million. That is a 39 percent increase.

The proposed increases come two years after the agency’s budget increased by 74 percent, from $5.8 million in FY 2011 to $10.1 million for FY 2012.

Maybe such increases wouldn’t be so bad, although an over 100 percent budget increase is hard to justify anytime, if the agency was performing well. But, the most notable achievement of the SCRSIC in the past year has been to become deeply involved in political gamesmanship.

Reynolds Williams Should Step Down

S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission chairman Reynolds Williams barely escaped having to step down as commission chair Thursday when his vote resulted in a 3-3 tie on a motion by S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis.

Loftis’ motion asked commissioners to remove Williams from the chair while he is under investigation by the S.C. Ethics Commission and S.C. Law Enforcement Division.

“The chairman has an immense amount of responsibility,” said Loftis in discussing the motion. “I don’t think that person, while under a significant amount of investigation, should be chairman.”

Demand S.C. Public Pension Fund Audit

Demand S.C. Public Pension Fund Audit

A complete audit of the S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission and its internal policies should be undertaken by an outside firm as a result of last week’s discussion before the state Budget and Control Board. This discussion came only days after commission chairman Reynolds Williams became the focus of investigations by both SLED and the S.C. Ethics Commission.

The commission is responsible for making the investment decisions for the state’s $25 billion public retirement investment fund. In addition to tracking the funds themselves, an audit of risk assessment, due diligence, evacuation and cross trades, among other things, should be looked at by outside professionals.

Reynolds Williams, The Timber Company And Our $25 Billion Pension Fund

Reynolds Williams and… that timber company

S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis has requested S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson to investigate the actions of S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission chairman Reynolds Williams with respect to a joint investment the commission made with American Timberlands, LLC.

Loftis said the investment seemed straightforward at the time, but information he became privy to after the commission vote brings to light possible conflict of interest problems for Williams and possible criminal violations.

The investment commission took up the matter of the investment during its November 2011 Wampee Reteat and business meeting. Commission members, less Williams who was not present for the vote, approved the investment.