FEATURED ARTICLES
BUSINESS
December 13, 2013 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The board of the underfunded Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System (SERS) voted Wednesday to hire outside experts for assessment and advice for dealing with allegations against its chief investment officer, Anthony S. Clark . Clark, 60, chose last week to retire from his $270,000 job running the state workers' pension fund after the SERS board locked him out of his office due to allegations against him, which the board has declined to describe...
BUSINESS
December 8, 2013 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Anthony S. Clark, chief investment officer of the Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System (SERS), has told the system he plans to retire Dec. 31. Clark's early retirement follows SERS's decision to begin investigating his actions while an executive of the $25 billion asset fund. Clark, 60, has held the job since April 2011. He is paid $270,000 a year, more than Gov. Corbett but less than many of the investment managers Clark reviewed, hired, and fired as managers of state pension investments.
BUSINESS
February 6, 2011 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System (SERS) spends a quarter of a billion dollars a year on private money managers, in hopes they'll make more money to pay future pensions. Under Nicholas Maiale , a former state representative from South Philadelphia who has been chairman of SERS' board since 1992, and especially since then-Gov. Tom Ridge boosted pensions in 2001 without raising more funds to pay for them, SERS has become one of the most intensively managed public pension systems in the nation.
BUSINESS
January 24, 2014 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Directors of Pennsylvania's $27 billion State Employees' Retirement System (SERS), meeting in a closed-door session in Harrisburg, agreed Wednesday to hire the Philadelphia law firm Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel L.L.P. to investigate questions raised by an unnamed SERS employee last spring that led to the early retirement of chief investment officer Anthony Clark. Lawyers for Gov. Corbett's administration spent April to December reviewing allegations by the unnamed employee that Clark spent time trading investments for himself while on the job, and that he had not reported on schedule losses at a hedge fund he had recommended to invest $250 million in state money.
BUSINESS
September 17, 2013 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Second of two columns on this topic. The $25 billion Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System (SERS) has been buying real estate since 1984. It's been a drag on the fund for most of the last decade. The system, which pays for the pensions of retired state employees and must finance the retirements of today's state workers, still owns about $3 billion in real estate. It pays private investment firms roughly $1 for every $100 worth of property they manage for the state, and more when they actually make money.
BUSINESS
June 26, 2011 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System (SERS) invested $20 million in Radnor-based Cross Atlantic Capital Partners Inc.'s first technology venture capital fund, back in 1999 during the dot.com boom, when then-Gov. Tom Ridge hoped it would help fund higher pensions. Twelve years later, the taxpayer-supported system had gotten back just $19 million of its first investment, and no profit, according to its Dec. 31 report. In 2001, SERS voted to put an additional $32.9 million with Cross Atlantic Technology Fund II . It's gotten back not quite $19 million.
NEWS
May 21, 1987 | By JOHN M. BAER, Daily News Staff Writer
A reporter's questions have resulted in a $55,000 bonus for Gov. Casey. "What a disaster," said Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Harry Stoffer after it was announced yesterday that his inquiries to the state's retirement system led to a discovery that the system owes Casey $54,915.64. "Being a watchdog of state government is supposed to work the other way," Stoffer said while walking through the Capitol newsroom to the hoots of fellow reporters. "You're supposed to make public officials give money back.
BUSINESS
September 19, 2014 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
An investigation into an unsuccessful investment by the Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System (SERS) has "found no evidence of illegality" by Anthony Clark, the system's former chief investment officer, who persuaded the system to pump $250 million into Tiger Management Advisors as the first step in a planned hedge fund strategy. "Whether Clark intentionally misled the board by seeking to conceal Tiger's poor performance is open to question," the investigator, former acting state attorney general Walter Cohen, added in his two-page note to the board summarizing his findings.
BUSINESS
September 16, 2013 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
  If you want to watch people gamble their own money, head to the casino. To watch people bet your money, go see a monthly board meeting of the $25 billion Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System (SERS) , where the trustees - elected officials and government appointees - are always learning on the job. SERS has a problem: Funded partly by the state (which is to say, taxpayers), partly by state worker payroll deductions (also from taxpayers), and partly by investments, it now has less than 60 cents set aside for every dollar it expects it will have to pay more than 100,000 retired public servants and the smaller number of active workers when they retire.
BUSINESS
February 28, 2008 | By Joseph N. DiStefano INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System says it earned more than $5 billion, or 17 percent, on its investments last year, outperforming stock and bond market indexes and relieving some of the pressure on state taxpayers who subsidize state pensions. That performance should slow expected increases in taxpayer subsidies to the $35 billion fund, Nicholas V. Maiale, a Philadelphia lawyer and the retirement system's board chairman, told legislators in presenting SERS's annual budget yesterday.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
March 16, 2015 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Stop panicking about Pennsylvania pensions, says Randy Albright, Gov. Wolf's budget secretary. Yes, the state's history of overpromising and underfunding, so veteran public workers (and elected officials) can collect nearly their old take-home pay as retirees, has dug taxpayers into a hole. Sure, the state workers' (SERS) and school (PSERS) pensions have scraped together just around $75 billion of the $130 billion- plus they would need to invest to pay pensions for today's public employees and retirees until they're all dead.
BUSINESS
January 27, 2015 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania is a forgiving place. Maybe too forgiving: I: Legend: For a while in the 1990s, TL Ventures looked like it would be Philadelphia's breakout venture-capital giant. Amid the dot.com boom, TL's first bets paid off, returning nearly 40 percent profits to early-bird clients like Pennsylvania's school pensions. That helped TL, run by former Fidelity Bank lender Robert Keith , raise more than $1 billion for more ambitious investments. The Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System (SERS)
BUSINESS
September 19, 2014 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
An investigation into an unsuccessful investment by the Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System (SERS) has "found no evidence of illegality" by Anthony Clark, the system's former chief investment officer, who persuaded the system to pump $250 million into Tiger Management Advisors as the first step in a planned hedge fund strategy. "Whether Clark intentionally misled the board by seeking to conceal Tiger's poor performance is open to question," the investigator, former acting state attorney general Walter Cohen, added in his two-page note to the board summarizing his findings.
NEWS
March 22, 2014 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
An attorney for Jerry Sandusky contends that members of the state retirement system used an unprecedented and improper interpretation of the law to strip Sandusky of his pension after his conviction on child sex-abuse charges. The State Employees Retirement System revoked Sandusky's $4,900 monthly Pennsylvania State University payments after concluding that his 2012 conviction violated laws governing such pensions. Sandusky stopped working as a Penn State assistant football coach in 1999, but the agency concluded he was "an actual or de facto employee" of the school through 2008, a span during which he sexually abused boys.
BUSINESS
January 24, 2014 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Directors of Pennsylvania's $27 billion State Employees' Retirement System (SERS), meeting in a closed-door session in Harrisburg, agreed Wednesday to hire the Philadelphia law firm Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel L.L.P. to investigate questions raised by an unnamed SERS employee last spring that led to the early retirement of chief investment officer Anthony Clark. Lawyers for Gov. Corbett's administration spent April to December reviewing allegations by the unnamed employee that Clark spent time trading investments for himself while on the job, and that he had not reported on schedule losses at a hedge fund he had recommended to invest $250 million in state money.
BUSINESS
January 1, 2014 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Under pressure, Nicholas Maiale , the South Philadelphia lawyer who has chaired the $25 billion Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System since 1992, is leaving the post from which he oversaw state investments under five governors. "I often said I'd keep the chairman's job as long as I enjoy it. I haven't enjoyed it since Thanksgiving," when he decided to tell SERS's chief investment officer, Anthony Clark , that he was the subject of an internal investigation, Maiale told me. Against SERS lawyers' advice, Maiale told Clark that state lawyers were reviewing staff claims that Clark had withheld information about hedge-fund losses and claims that he may have been trading personal investments from his SERS office.
NEWS
December 16, 2013 | By Joseph N. DiStefano and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
The chief investment officer of the Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System speeded up his retirement after a whistle-blower said he had engaged in personal investment trades at work and withheld news about a $3 million loss in a pension-fund investment, documents obtained by The Inquirer show. The material shows that the whistle-blower first raised the complaints in April about Anthony Clark - one of the state's highest-paid employees, at $270,000 a year - to her superiors in the legal staff about the $26 billion pension system and to at least one of the system's board members.
BUSINESS
December 13, 2013 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The board of the underfunded Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System (SERS) voted Wednesday to hire outside experts for assessment and advice for dealing with allegations against its chief investment officer, Anthony S. Clark . Clark, 60, chose last week to retire from his $270,000 job running the state workers' pension fund after the SERS board locked him out of his office due to allegations against him, which the board has declined to describe...
BUSINESS
December 8, 2013 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Anthony S. Clark, chief investment officer of the Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System (SERS), has told the system he plans to retire Dec. 31. Clark's early retirement follows SERS's decision to begin investigating his actions while an executive of the $25 billion asset fund. Clark, 60, has held the job since April 2011. He is paid $270,000 a year, more than Gov. Corbett but less than many of the investment managers Clark reviewed, hired, and fired as managers of state pension investments.
BUSINESS
October 7, 2013 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
A hedge fund based on New York's Park Avenue that failed to deliver the profits that Pennsylvania's state pension system had been counting on has decided to cut its losses and shut down - even after the state begged it to try again. The Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System (SERS) gave New York-based Tiger Management $250 million in 2012, expecting Tiger's genius investors would generate 8 to 12 percent annual profits. That would be $20 million to $30 million a year, without the usual up-and-down volatility of stock investments.
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