West Warwick provides returns, fees for pension investments

November 26th, 2013 at 2:22 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Take West Warwick out of the penalty box.

After last week’s Target 12 investigation on cities’ and towns’ pension investments, West Warwick Town Manager Frederick Presley reached out to dispute the idea that the community was unable to provide data on its pension investments and the fees it pays to manage them.

Presley forwarded two Oct. 10 email messages sent in response to Target 12′s June 4 request for information. The documents show the town’s locally-run pension fund posted a negative 0.59% return in the year ended June 30, 2012, but acknowledge there is no data for its investment performance over the last five or 10 years.

The documents also show West Warwick’s pension-fund fees totaled $182,502 in 2011-12; $228,066 in 2010-11; and $228,845 in 2009-10.

It’s unclear what happened to the October messages sent to Target 12. But there’s no doubt it took time and effort for West Warwick to piece together the information over the course of four months.

The initial reply to Target 12′s request came June 5 from former Town Manager Michael Stampfler, who has since been replaced by Presley. “This information is properly handled by the Pension Board appointed under the Charter of the Town of West Warwick,” Stampfler wrote. He said the pension investments were handled by Alan Kantapin, an investment manager at Morgan Stanley, and he offered Kantapin’s phone number.

A short time later another town official, Elaine Mansour, replied to say she’d forwarded Target 12′s request to former state Rep. Tim Williamson, the pension board’s interim legal counsel. Three months later, in September, Williamson contacted Target 12 and learned the information had not been provided.

The documents forwarded by Presley, Stampfler’s successor, show the pension board reached out to Citizens Bank on Oct. 7 to obtain information about how much the town was spending in fees for its investments, which was apparently sent to Target 12 on Oct. 10. The only place that took longer to respond was Scituate.

The West Warwick data has been added to Target 12′s local pension database.

• Interactive: See all 24 municipalities’ pension investment returns and fees (WPRI.com)

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