So A Pension Fund Walks Into A Bar…

If you can no longer use a placement agent to solicit investments from the New York State Common Retirement Fund (NYSCRF), then how do you go about doing it? I can’t get an official answer yet, so I went to the pension’s website for direction. Follow along:

  1. Go to the Treasurer’s website: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/
  2. Select “Pension Fund” on the left-hand nav bar, and scroll down to Investments Overview.
  3. Select Alternative Investments. 

The first thing that you’ll see, in bold, is a contact name and email address. Only problem is that the name and address are for Nick Smirensky, who stopped working there SEVEN MONTHS AGO!

Just to be sure Nick hadn’t come back into the fold — he left last October to become CIO of the New York State Health Foundation — I shot him an email. It bounced back almost immediately, without any additional contact information for aspiring fund managers. 

Even worse, I actually brought this mistake to the attention of someone at NYSCRF over a month ago (which is why I thought to look again today). Oh competence, thy name is not NYSCRF…