NM to Undergo Independent Review of Investment Practices

June 26, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Legislative leaders in New Mexico have agreed to spend up to $100,000 to help pay for an independent review of the state's investment practices and policies.

The Associated Press reports that the leadership group known as the Legislative Council this week directed its staff to solicit bids from firms interested in doing the job. The hired firm will review the State Investment Council and pension funds administered by the Educational Retirement Board and the Public Employees Retirement Association, according to the AP.

Governor Bill Richardson’s administration is jointly commissioning the review, and the executive branch will provide up to $200,000.

A state Senator last month called for an audit of investment practices because of questions about millions of dollars in fees paid to placement agents by firms that won state investment deals. Companies and hedge funds involved in a state-federal probe by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo into potential pay-to-play wrongdoing were found to also have ties to New Mexico (see Auto Czar Also Indicated in NM Pay-to-Play ).

In May, Cuomo announced a multi-state cooperation in revealing pension fund abuses (see Cuomo Announces Multi-state Effort on Pension Abuse ).