RSA committee explores possible changes - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

RSA committee explores possible changes

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The Investment Committee of the Employees Retirement System Board of Control heard Friday how staff at the RSA make decisions on trades.

"This was a conversation today about having the staff inform us about what they do and this was a training meeting," said Curtis Stewart, a member of ERS Board of Control who also serves on the Investment Committee.

The meeting took place after Stewart proposed and passed a resolution to change investment procedures at the RSA, basically removing the proxy authority of Dr. David Bronner, the CEO of the RSA.

RSA investment staff, who work on investments with returns that benefit the Teachers Retirement System and Judicial Retirement Fund, detailed their day-to-day activities and how new procedures may change them.

Several staff members described how they are forced to make decisions, by virtue of the financial markets and industry, on a quick, moment-by-moment basis. One staff member even described how in a single day he will receive, on average, more than 2,500 emails from Bloomberg with information ranging from costs, potential yields and other information that would be used for investing.

Chief Investment Officer Marc Green, who's worked at the RSA for 22 years, said board members and members of the Investment Committee have always received information about investments RSA staff have made, but because if the nature of financial world, the information is relayed after decisions on trades have already been made.

He added that putting in some kind of additional step that would require investment committee approval could be cumbersome and potentially problematic if decisions must be made quickly on certain investments.

"From trying to figure out and coordinate an investment committee approval, it would be very hard to figure out if you could a secondary or not if you're trying to corral four or five opinions on ‘do you want to go out and buy this security,'" Green said.

Stewart, who was appointed by Gov. Robert Bentley six months ago, said after the meeting that he doesn't want the board to provide input on each decision regarding investments.

"It would be ill-advised to insert our own judgment on particular publicly traded investments," Stewart said. "The investment committee needs to be in the process whenever it's appropriate and we'll continue to look at that as we go."

Stewart said he didn't have any specific ideas as to how a new investment procedure may look.

"I don't enough right now to answer that" Stewart said.

David Bronner has held his position as CEO of the RSA for nearly 40 years. During that time the funds have grown from the hundreds of millions to approximately $32 billion.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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