IPERS Reaps Cendant Settlement Payment

July 15, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Members of the Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System (IPERS) are a step closer to making themselves financially whole after IPERS' $4-million investment loss from shares of travel and real estate company Cendant Corp.

That’s because IPERS received $1.5 million from a settlement of a class action suit against Cendant by major investors who claimed the company published false financial statements in 2000 – a move, which the plaintiffs alleged cost them millions in losses, the Des Moines Register reported.

Altogether, the plaintiffs invested $8.8 billion in Cendant, which operates the Avis rental car company and hotel chains, such as Days Inn and Super 8, as well as real estate company Century 21. The settlement amounted to almost $3.2 billion of which IPERS received its $1.5 million.

“We have sent a message that we are not going to tolerate this type of fraud and will go after our money,” Iowa State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald told the newspaper.

Late last year, IPERS hired a Philadelphia law office that specializes in securities litigation to track the pension plan’s interests in securities lawsuits and possibly represent it as a plaintiff. Fitzgerald said that firm has not yet identified any target defendants.