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At a meeting called today by Gov. Bob Taft, the executive directors of Ohio's five public pension plans and Ohio bank representatives agreed that investment mandates and quotas are inappropriate because they conflict with the systems' ability to meet their fiduciary responsibility to their membership. The systems pledged to do what they can to eliminate any real or perceived barriers that prevent Ohio-based banks and firms from doing more business with the plans.
In addition to the governor, the meeting was attended by Senate and House leadership, legislation sponsors and representatives of the Ohio Bankers League and major banks including Fifth Third, the Huntington, Provident, Key Bank and National City.
During the meeting, the Ohio Bankers League representatives presented a set of �Ohio Bank Investment Management Guiding Principles� that included their opposition to investment mandates for the public pension plans. However, they expressed concern that there were artificial barriers. In response, the executive directors noted that open and objective selection procedures for choosing firms are currently in place, and they will do everything possible to ensure this process continues at each system.
The systems noted that as part of their normal investment operations, they do business with Ohio-based firms and firms that have a significant presence in Ohio. These firms currently receive an average of 36% of equity trading commissions and 44% of fixed-income trades.
During the meeting, the executive directors also continued to voice their support for pension plan reform that strengthens the functioning and monitoring of the retirement systems, and provides for open and transparent financial disclosure. In addition, they thanked the governor for bringing all the parties together to discuss the issues. All agreed that a strong Ohio economy benefits not just Ohio firms, but the public employees and retirees of the state.
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Contact: Dave Graham (614) 628-8396, firstname.lastname@example.org
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