The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

March 12, 2010
Darius Anderson helped Republican heavy win pension money

Darius Anderson.JPG

Markstone Capital, an investment house whose founder pleaded guilty in an ongoing pension fund scandal, hired a well-connected Sacramento placement agent to help win a $25 million investment from the California Public Employee Retirement System, newly disclosed documents show.

In disclosures released by CalPERS, Markstone acknowledged hiring Sacramento lobbyist Darius Anderson, and paying him $250,000 after he helped Markstone secure a CalPERS' commitment to invest $25 million with Markstone in 2005.

Markstone previously won a $25 million investment without using a placement agent, as described in this article.

Republican heavyweight Elliott Broidy of Los Angeles founded Markstone, a firm that specializes in investing in Israel.

Broidy stepped down as Markstone chairman after pleading guilty to bribery charges as part of New York Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo's investigation into pension funds and misuse of placement agents.

Anderson's name has surfaced in connection with investigations into pension funds but he has been accused of no wrongdoing.

CalPERS had announced earlier this year that placement agents received at least $125 million for winning business with the pension fund, as The Bee's Dale Kasler wrote in this article in January.

But 28 firms failed to comply with CalPERS' request to disclose whether they had hired placement agents. Markstone was among the laggards.

The Bee previously noted in editorials here and here that Markstone neglected to comply with CalPERS' requests that it voluntarily disclose whether or not it had hired placement agents. It since did file papers disclosing its arrangement with Anderson, and an explanation of it.

Broidy long was a prominent figure in Republican politics, serving as finance chair for the Republican National Committee during the 2008 presidential election, and also raising money for President George W. Bush.

Broidy also was generous with California politicians, particularly those who held sway over pension fund decisions, donating $436,000 to state politicians since the start of the decade.

Anderson, by contrast, long has been a significant Democratic fund-raiser, serving as finance chairman for Gov. Gray Davis 1998 election.

Anderson operates Platinum Advisors, one of Sacramento's top lobby firms. With $16.5 million in revenue since 2000, Platinum placed 14th among all Sacramento lobby firms.

In addition to his work as a lobbyist, Anderson done work as a placement agent, helping firms such as Markstone win pension fund business. Here is an article related to Anderson and pension funds.

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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