In a recent speech to private equity investors, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler said hedge funds and private equity firms must provide far greater transparency about the fees that they are charging their clients.
“More competition and transparency could potentially bring greater efficiencies to this important part of our capital markets,” said Gensler, who formerly worked on Wall Street. “This could raise the returns for the pensions and endowments behind the limited partner investors. This ultimately could help workers preparing for retirement and families paying for their college educations.”
Efforts to increase transparency and expose the widespread abuses by high flying Wall Street players of the pension funds of teachers, firefighters, cops, and bus drivers could soon be coming to a head in Ohio.
Due to an active group of retirees and the assistance of a former Ohio Attorney General, both the Ohio State Auditor and the Ohio Department of Securities have launched inquiries into the Ohio State Teachers Retirement System (STRS Ohio), a $100 billion pension that has launched billions of dollars of investments into the riskier corners of the market, namely private equity and hedge funds.
“Ohio could be the first place where the secrecy surrounding public pensions and their investments in risky, speculative and high-fee investment vehicles could be looked at in a serious way,” said Ted Siedle, a former SEC attorney and longtime pension whistleblower.