November 7, 2005 |
Here's what some of corporate America's biggest investors are saying about the CEOs who work for them: Time Warner Inc. chief executive officer Richard Parsons has "a dismal record of mistakes" and "bloated" spending, and his board should be replaced. Sovereign Bancorp Inc. chairman Jay S. Sidhu and his board have "become the model of poor, autocratic corporate governance," and should put Sidhu's "dubious" plans for the company to a shareholder vote. Knight Ridder Inc. chairman P. Anthony Ridder and his board have "failed to achieve" even average results, and should step aside to let shareholders approve a potential sale of the company.
October 8, 2005 |
Hedge funds are famously secretive, using offshore tax havens to shelter their investments from public scrutiny. When the funds go bad, that can lead to international complications - as investors in troubled Philadelphia Alternative Asset Management Co. L.L.C. have learned since federal regulators seized the firm in June. A court-appointed receiver in Philadelphia is battling British investors; Cayman Island lawyers; and banks from France, Switzerland and the Netherlands over what's left of the $275 million invested since 2004 in three hedge funds run by the company from its former offices in King of Prussia and Toronto.
July 7, 2005 |
John F. Wallace, vice chairman of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, is a part owner of a King of Prussia hedge fund closed last month in a legal challenge by commodities regulators, court records indicate. Wallace played a minimal role at the fund's investment adviser, Philadelphia Alternative Asset Management Co. L.L.C., said his attorney, Alexander Kerr. "Mr. Wallace was not a principal of the firm; he never raised any money for the fund," Kerr said. "He never raised any money for the management firm.
June 16, 2005 |
Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. and a Chicago hedge fund have agreed to buy 10 percent each of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, people familiar with the deal said yesterday, in a move that that could provide new life for the nation's oldest exchange. Merrill, the giant brokerage, and the exchange declined to comment, pending a meeting late yesterday of the exchange's board of governors. An announcement of the deal could come as soon as today. Citadel Investment Group L.L.P., the Chicago hedge fund, did not return phone calls.
July 27, 2004 |
Last year, Pennsylvania taxpayers paid more than $350 million into the state's two largest public pension funds, the Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS) and the State Employees Retirement System (SERS). This amount was needed to subsidize pension costs not covered by investment profits. The subsidy was necessary even though the two funds were paying more than $250 million in fees to 300 private money managers to manage them. Board members of both pension funds refuse to disclose the criteria used to select the people who manage what amounts to more than $70 billion in assets.
May 23, 2004 |
The New Jersey Pine Barrens aren't known as a financial center. But a hedge fund based in a Medford home enjoyed a brief and improbable reign atop lists of the nation's best-performing investments this year, before regulators and a federal judge in Camden shut it down. Shasta Capital Associates' claims of double-your-money yearly profit evaporated last month when the federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission won a court order from Judge Robert B. Kugler to freeze its assets and suspend its operations.
April 25, 2004 |
Two for you, One for me . . .. Pennsylvania hasn't gotten rich yet from its $5 billion investment in hedge funds. But the hedge funds have. For every dollar they made for the state pension plan last year, hedge-fund operators collected more than 50 cents in fees, says a report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by the manager of 55 of the plan's 183 hedge investments. That compares with less than 3 cents in fees for every dollar produced by the pension system's $20 billion in other investments (such as stocks)
March 15, 2004 |
How rich would you be if you could spend every dollar twice? If you could buy a home on the Main Line - and get a Shore house thrown in for free? If your next slot-machine pull came with a complimentary lottery ticket - and both won? That's something like what Pennsylvania achieved last year with a chunk of its $24 billion state workers' pension system. In late 2002, the State Employees' Retirement System invested $2.3 billion in scores of unregulated investment pools called hedge funds, then set up Wall Street trading arrangements - "equity swaps" - to buy the future gains or losses of a similar-size investment in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index.
March 5, 2004 |
The Pennsylvania state workers' pension system says its expensive bet on unregulated hedge funds paid off handsomely as the stock market rose last year. "After the three tough years of 2000-02, the worst bear market since the Great Depression," the State Employees' Retirement System is "back on track," chairman Nicholas V. Maiale told the state Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday in SERS' yearly budget presentation. In part, Maiale credited the hedge funds, which he said were "not risky," despite their reputation, but instead provided "returns higher than average.
January 23, 2004 |
Does money grow best in the dark? At a time when securities cops and small investors are demanding more accountability in the financial markets, Pennsylvania's state pension fund is following some other big institutions in hiring unregulated investment managers whose methods are deliberately obscure. The $24 billion State Employees' Retirement System is moving billions from familiar, transparent, government-regulated stock-index funds to hedge funds, whose managers do not have to report what they do with clients' cash.