Turmoil At SC Investment Commission
STATE PENSION FUND LEADER QUITS POST AMID INFIGHTING
Once again, turmoil is enveloping the chronically underperforming, overpaying and infinitely corrupt S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission (SCRSIC).
Late Thursday afternoon Sarah Corbett – who had been recently promoted to agency head – resigned from her $175,000 a year job. Corbett was promoted in mid-June and had been at her new position for only one month. Previously she had been the commission’s deputy chief of operations, and had been at the agency for two decades.
Corbett had effectively been running the SCRSIC for the last eight months as the commission’s actual chief of operations, former S.C. Sen. Greg Ryberg, was hired to engage in nonstop political warfare with S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis – who has been courageously exposing a myriad of problems with the fund.
Ryberg, a multimillionaire, received $161,000 a year (not counting benefits) to do a job he was not remotely qualified to do. Meanwhile taxpayers shelled out another $98,000 a year (again, not counting benefits) to his sidekick, Danny Varat.
Neither kept regular office hours, we’re told – treating the positions as “ownership” roles rather than actual jobs.
According to our sources, several senior investment staff have begun looking for other employment – but are finding their high salaries to be impediments when it comes to securing new positions. Corbett reportedly butted heads extensively with Hershel Harper, the $600,000 a year chief investment office of the $25 billion fund, as well as Robert Fienstien, the $250,000 a year chief counsel.
More importantly, she had become less responsive to her patron, Reynolds Williams, the godfather of the Commission and Senator Hugh Leatherman’s appointee.
Corbett was a favorite of Williams – long known for doing his bidding.
According to our sources at the agency, the SCRSIC’s investment returns will once again be in the bottom thirty percent of the public pensions plans – and that the estimated $17 billion dollar unfunded liability (debt) of the retirement system is poised to rise again.
South Carolina’s fund pays out the highest fees in the nation - yet it ranks among the bottom third of large public pension funds in its return on investment. That’s abysmal. Of course despite this atrocious performance, the fund’s managers recently doled out $1.4 million in bonuses to its top employees – a story which broke exclusively here on FITS.