Placement Agent Probe Yields Another Settlement

November 4, 2009 ( - A man who helped a Los Angeles-based private equity firm land an $800-million New York state pension mandate has agreed to settle allegations of wrongdoing as part of an ongoing investigation by state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

A Bloomberg news story, quoting Kevin McCabe’s lawyer, Michael Dowd, said McCabe would pay $535,000 as part of the settlement. The news account said the agreement has not yet been formally executed.

McCabe acted as a placement agent for GKM Newport Management LLC, a Los Angeles-based firm that had $13 million under management when the state first invested, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission complaint, Bloomberg said. He co-owned Purpose LLC with Henry “Hank” Morris, a former adviser to ex-New York state Comptroller Alan Hevesi who has been at the center of the controversy involving the private placement agents’ role in public pension systems.  

McCabe, who now works as an executive in a company that operates sports complexes, also agreed to embrace Cuomo’s reform code of conduct, Dowd said.

Cuomo and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission continue investigating allegations that private placement agents improperly benefitted by helping to steer large blocks of assets from the New York State Retirement Fund to various money managers around the country (see Judge Predicts Appeal in Cuomo Case against Morris ).   Other public pension programs have likewise been ensnared in the investigation (see NM to Undergo Independent Review of Investment Practices ).

Four people have pleaded guilty in Cuomo’s probe, the Attorney General said last month, and seven firms, including the Washington-based Carlyle Group and New York-based Riverstone Holdings LLC, have publicly settled and agreed to adopt reforms.