Ex-Utah Pension Fund CIO Reaches Insider Trading Settlement

February 24, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The former chief investment officer (CIO) for the Utah state pension fund has finalized a settlement of charges that he violated state securities laws by engaging in insider trading and acting as an unlicensed investment adviser representative.

Richard Cherry, former Utah Retirement Systems (URS) CIO, was fined $17,000 under the settlement, which also bars him from associating with licensed investment advisers in the state, Dow Jones reported. Cherry, who worked in the Utah retirement system’s investment department for more than 20 years, was CIO from 1990 until 2003.

The Division of Securities at the Utah Department of Commerce, which started investigating Cherry in 2002, found that Cherry made a number of trades for his own portfolio and that of a private advisory client in securities that state retirement system fund managers were also purchasing on behalf of the $14-billion pension fund (see  Insider Trading Alleged at Utah Fund ).

“Trading records revealed that Cherry purchased shares in these companies shortly before URS purchased significant positions in the companies,” the Utah Department of Commerce said in a statement. “URS purchases comprised a large percentage of the total daily trading volume and had the potential to increase the market price of those stocks.”