Florida Taps Stipanovch as Exec

August 30, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Florida State Board of Administration (FSBA) - one of the nation's largest pension funds -- has a new chief executive.

Tapped as FSBA’s next executive director is Coleman Stipanovich, formerly the board’s deputy executive director, CIO and chief of operations. Stipanovich stepped in as chief executive on an interim basis after former executive Tom Herndon retired June 28.

In 1981, Stipanovich began his investment career with Thomson McKinnon Securities as an investment executive. In 1986, he joined PaineWebber as a corporate vice president, branch manager and investment executive.

From 1992 through 1999, prior to joining the FSBA in January of 2000, Stipanovich was president of CoLee, Inc., an investment management-consulting firm, managing pension and profit sharing portfolios.

Hands Full?

Stipanovich takes over the reins at FSBA at a time when the fund has followed an extremely activist approach toward issues such as corporate fraud and general corporate governance. Fund executives have not been afraid to go to court .

The fund filed a highly publicized lawsuit against Alliance Capital over $282 million in Enron-related losses fund officials said Alliance helped generate.

Just yesterday t he American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) criticized the oversight of Florida’s state pension funds, claiming they lost more money on Enron investments ($335 million) than any other public fund because the Florida State Board of Administration lacked internal controls over investments – and continues to have monitoring safeguards that are ineffective.

AFSCME, which represents some 110,000 Florida workers, also criticized oversight of the investment performance of Alliance Capital Management, through which the $100 billion Florida fund invested in Enron stock.

One important issue sure to be on Stipanovich’s plate early on is Florida’s move to offer state workers a defined contribution plan in addition to its existing traditional DB option. At least at first, the response to the DC plan has not been overwhelming.

The FSBA has more than $120 billion under management.