Indiana Taps New Pension Fund Chief

March 9, 2005 ( - Officials at the state of Indiana's $11 billion public pension fund have tapped an entrepreneur who recently ran a venture selling cars on eBay as their new executive director.

The new head of the Public Employees’ Retirement Fund (PERF) is David Adams, 43, who received the unanimous approval of the fund’s board of trustees as well as the blessing of Governor Mitch Daniels who has to approve such hiring by law, according to the Indianapolis Star.

“David brings a wealth of experience and an entrepreneurial spirit to the fund,” Daniels said in a prepared statement.

Adams will have the day-to-day responsibility for safeguarding public employees’ money, getting pension checks out on time and dealing with customer service issues that arise.”This is an organization that is driven by customer service,” said Adams, who was also managing partner at a real estate firm. “I want to build upon the good work that’s been done.”

Leading this pension fund hasn’t been an easy job. Three ex-pension workers are in federal prison for separate crimes involving the fund (See Former PERF Worker Sentenced for Theft ), which unknowingly hired a convicted identity thief in 2001 for a top job. PERF is trying to clear up accounting problems uncovered by its own auditors and the State Board of Accounts, which found significant weaknesses in financial checks and balances (See Audit Finds 23 ‘Significant’ Problems at PERF ).

The fund is working to fix a flawed computer system that is full of inaccurate data on pensioners. Adams replaces Craig Hartzer, who was hired by the late Governor Frank O’Bannon, a Democrat, in the wake of the scandals.

Adams’ salary will be about $118,000. The fund serves more than 200,000 public employees, retirees and their families.