New Garden State Pension Investment Chief Recommended

November 22, 2002 ( - New Jersey pension officials have suggested the former chief executive officer of a mutual fund company as the next investment head of the state's troubled pension fund

The New Jersey Investment Council made the recommendation of Peter Langerman, formerly of Franklin Mutual Series Fund to replace Steven Kornrumpf as director of the New Jersey Division of Investment, which manages the $56-billion fund, Dow Jones reported.

The council’s recommendation is for an interim appointment. Orin Kramer, chair of the council said Thursday the council is beginning a nationwide search for a permanent investment division director.

Kornrumpf stepped down last week. (See Jersey Pension Chief Quits, Gets New Assignment ). New Jersey State Treasurer John McCormac will make the final decision on the appointment.

The fund lost more than $6 billion in the last quarter and $20 billion over the last three years.

Compared with other state pension funds measured by Wilshire Associates , New Jersey’s pension fund ranks near the bottom. In fact, nearly all (94%) of the state funds did better over the three years ending June 30, 2002, according to McCormac.

The state hired a private company, Independent Fiduciary Services, a Newark, New Jersey-based firm, to perform an audit of its system. Two former governors, Thomas Kean and Brendan Byrne, as well as Princeton University professor and former Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Alan Blinder, have also been appointed by Governor James McGreevey to examine the ailing pension system.