The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

February 9, 2010
'Placement agent' bill introduced

In the aftermath of reports about placement agents earning millions of dollars for activity at CalPERS, Assemblyman Ed Hernandez, D-Baldwin Park, has introduced legislation that would make them register with the state.

AB 1743 would define placement agents -- middlemen who open pension funds' doors to investment pitches -- as lobbyists in accordance with the state's Political Reform Act. That would limit how much they could give in gifts and campaign contributions, prohibit them earning commissions based on CalPERS' investment decisions. The placement agents, their firms and employers would be required to report quarterly on their fees and compensation and on any honoraria or gifts.

Treasurer Bill Lockyer and Controller John Chiang both support the measure.

Last year Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that requires placement agents to disclose campaign contributions they've made to public pension funds board members. They also must disclose whether a money manager has hired placement agents to make a pitch to the funds.

Click here for the CalPERS press release.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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