Corrupt Pension Fund Managers Call Treasurer A “Bully”

The managers of South Carolina’s corrupt, underperforming, exorbitantly expensive pension fund really don’t like criticism … even though they deserve it more than any agency in state government (which is saying something). In fact they’re so mad at being called out for their ongoing failure they’ve reverted to middle school in…

The managers of South Carolina’s corrupt, underperforming, exorbitantly expensive pension fund really don’t like criticism … even though they deserve it more than any agency in state government (which is saying something). In fact they’re so mad at being called out for their ongoing failure they’ve reverted to middle school in an effort to silence their critics.

Specifically, members of the S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission (SCRSIC) are accusing S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis of “bullying” one of their own – using profanity and name-calling. They’ve even drafted and approved an “anti-bullying” rule in response to Loftis’ alleged actions.

Dear Lord … what a bunch of panty wastes.

“Here we go again – another political stunt and personal attack from the entrenched establishment at the Retirement Systems Investment Commission for my shining the light of transparency on the way business has been conducted for far too long,” Loftis said in a statement. “These tactics are nothing new, in fact with each success I have, the efforts to silence me have become more vicious.”

For those of you keeping score at home, South Carolina’s fund pays out the highest fees in the nation – yet it ranks among the bottom fifth 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.

Since his election three years ago, Loftis has been dutifully exposing the corruption and mismanagement of this $25 billion fund – which is run by Reynolds Williams, Leatherman’s appointee.

“Williams has good reasons to hide behind the cloak of secrecy,” Loftis said. “He wants to hide that we pay over $300 million a year in investment fees to Wall Street. He wants to hide that South Carolina is ranked in the top 10 percent of highest investment fees in the nation while our returns regularly rank in the bottom 25 percent. He wants to hide that $1.4 million in bonuses were paid to fourteen staff members, including an employee who received a $300,000 bonus on top of his $300,000 salary while the pension underperformed.”

Loftis has been exposing how commissioners and their staff have been receiving all sorts of undisclosed perks from the firms they are doing business with – and in some cases profiting directly from deals.

What has Loftis gotten for his efforts? A literally non-stop vendetta … one fueled by the Palmetto State’s “bought and paid for” mainstream media and supported by Gov. Nikki Haley. Earlier this year Haley’s appointee to the commission sponsored a resolution to censure Loftis – and the governor has reportedly been working behind the scenes to block an audit of the fund.

So much for transparency right?

Loftis was also the victim of a major smear campaign orchestrated by Haley and former S.C. Sen. Greg Ryberg, who recently received a $161,000-a-year job at the commission.

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shifty henry October 11, 2013 at 2:55 pm

MEMO: To Will Folks

Your articles would read better and make more sense if you have an educated, competent proofreader to check behind your spellcheck program. This has been going on for some time, but has been getting more noticeable within the past few weeks.

Philip Branton October 11, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Shifty…………do U not un-da-stand that Wil Folks has been edumakated by Pedro and the South of the Border school of Graham-nasty…!?

We mis-spell for tactical reasons…!!

Kind of like your friendly “top hat AVATAR”…..! :)

shifty henry October 11, 2013 at 4:32 pm

OK, you made me do this —–

At night school to learn English, the teacher asked the
students to use the word “choo-choo” in a sentence.

Marie said, “The choo-choo pulled into the station on time.”

Juanita said, “ De choo-choo is goin’ too fast.”

Pedro said, “You touch my Chevy an’ I’ll choo-choo.”

shifty henry October 11, 2013 at 4:44 pm

And since it’s Friday, and for new readers on Fitsnews, a repeat of one of my favorites—

Chinese Virgins Get Married

A young Chinese couple gets married. She’s a virgin. Truth be told, he is a virgin too, but she doesn’t know that.

On their wedding night, she cowers naked under the sheets as her husband undresses in the darkness.

He climbs into bed next to her and tries to be reassuring.

”My darring”, he whispers, “I know dis you firss time and you berry flighten, I promise you, I give you anything you want, I do anything, juss anything you want. You juss ask”.

‘Whatchu want? ” he says, trying to sound experienced and worldly, which he hopes will impress her.

A thoughtful silence follows and he waits patiently and eagerly for her request.

She eventually shyly whisper back ” I want to try something I have heard about from odda girls……..Numbaa 69 ”

More thoughtful silence, this time from him eventually, in a puzzled tone, he asks her ” You want……..Garlic Chicken wiff Snow Peas ?”

MashPotato October 11, 2013 at 5:16 pm


shifty henry October 11, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Thanks – always a good one to post when an opening is there…..

Philip Branton October 14, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Shifty……… ….if you would……..sit back and think of how yuo would get PAID for this..?

shifty henry October 14, 2013 at 3:01 pm

There was a time when I did get paid, somewhat……..

idcydm October 11, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Laughing so hard brought tears to my eyes. Boy was my mind in the gutter. :)

shifty henry October 11, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Thanks – a good laugh to start the weekend!

The Colonel October 12, 2013 at 5:18 am

Mavolus, simpry mavolus

Smirks October 11, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Or at least make them funny typos, like “erection” instead of “election.” That would also be acceptable.

Salty Doggerel October 11, 2013 at 3:08 pm

With Ryberg and Varat and Williams concerned,
The last of our worries is spell-check.
As taxpayers and retirees are assuredly burned,
What the state needs is really good smell-check.
Loftis a bully? Hell, no– he’s abrupt.
There’s one word he can smell and spell;
That word is–CORRUPT.

Thanks October 11, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Williams is as corrupt as his benefactor. Thanks to Loftis for standing up to these guy.

Greenville October 12, 2013 at 11:48 am

I read the article this morning in the paper and I could not help but think this was a big setup to get Mr. Oliver a lot of money, Sen Ryberg into the job, and bad publicity for Treasurer Loftis.
I am not sure as I don’t have the facts but this all sounds so third world. Sounds like everything decided in the back room and no one watching out for the citizens. This is discomforting.

Giles October 11, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Wow. What a crock. Grown man complaining about men talking to each other. Wo, we are a pussy nation.

? October 12, 2013 at 8:54 am

You got that right.

You know me October 11, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Hey Reynolds, wha, wha, wha. Grow a pair and be a man.

The Dome October 11, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Reynolds has a pair…Leatherman and Peeler, with a little wewe named martin!

sconset October 11, 2013 at 4:46 pm

I don’t get it. What is it with Fitsnews and Curtis Loftis? Most of the time, this site is smart and runs really good stuff. I do not understand why your are buying what this snake oil salesman is selling. His criticism of the retirement commission is off the wall and ignorant. We, the voters, made a mistake electing him State Treasurer. This latest dustup at the commission just demonstrates that he is a guy who should not be holding public office.

Original Good Old Boy October 11, 2013 at 5:12 pm

I’m not knowledgeable about the situation to comment with any type of confidence. What is “off the wall and ignorant” about his criticisms of the retirement commission? Just curious. The performance of that fund is abysmal compared to the what is paid in commissions, I do know that much.

Your comments, by the way, strike me as coming from someone who has an interest in maintaining the status quo at the commission. Am I wrong about that?

sconset October 11, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Wrong. I really don’t have a dog in the fight. My personal opinion is that the commission made a BIG mistake hiring Greg Ryberg to be COO. But, at the same time, I don’t think Loftis is doing a good job.. His constant comments about performance and fees are simply incorrect…but he repeats them so often that folks are starting to accept them as fact. His self promoting antics negatively impact the important job the members of the retirement commission (and staff) has – which is to invest a lot of money for the benefit of state employees. This should be a professional operation not a bad sitcom.

Original Good Old Boy October 11, 2013 at 6:32 pm

What is wrong about the comments regarding performance and fees? Not arguing, just curious.

Scooter October 11, 2013 at 6:49 pm

It appears that someone should be chit kicking. Go to it Loftis.

FloBoy October 11, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Curtis Loftis is the one of the most popular elected officials in SC. He gets it and the few insiders that post repeatedly against him are simply crying in the wind.

Keep it up Mr. Loftis. Give them hell.

snarkycondition October 11, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Don’t you see the relationship between FITS and the Home Pest ads on his website? Don’t you see that Home Pest is the family business of Loftis? Do you know that his chief of staff was formerly the Home Pest manager? You might want to do a search of his chief of staff’s name on the FITS page to discover some previous coverage by Will of that gentleman.

Phil October 12, 2013 at 11:19 am

I have never seen any Home Pest ads. If you see them it is a Google ad placed there because in the past you have searched for pest control products or something similar. Since I have never searched for that it does not show for me.
I was looking at new cars and I see a car ad.

CL October 11, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Curtis walked out before the voting??? Why would Curtis leave the meeting? Aren’t we paying him to be in that room at that moment to cast his vote? Sounds like Loftis pussed out, too.
I guess I agree with Giles.
Everyone is acting like a pussy.
Don’t make me go to the State website to read what happened in the meeting. I hate that.

CASH2 October 11, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Loftis said he walked out because he knew the Commission should not be discussing this issue in open session. That places the settlement in jeopardy and increases litigation and settlement cost. Loftis is a successful businessman and knows how to handle that situation, and getting out of there was the right thing to do. It is called leaving the circus to the clowns.

Buford Pusser October 12, 2013 at 6:26 am

That is what he said, the other possibility is that he did not want to answer direct questions in public in front of the press.

donny October 13, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I don’t know a lot about the investments of SC but I know a set up when i see one. It was a smart move on Loftis’s part to leave. You cant win when the game is rigged and so there is no reason to stay and taint yourself with illegality or stupidity.

I just can’t imagine how this will play when it gets to court. There is going to be some settlement and that has to be approved by the state or a judge (I assume). The investment people have laid out their privates in public which no one wants to do before any litigation.

Seems dumb but I assume we shall see it all play out. The state is clearly going to have to pay more than it should because of the bungling on Friday. Will be interesting to see who gets the blame for that.

Armchair Quarterback November 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm

That was a different meeting. This was a result of bullying.

? October 12, 2013 at 6:57 am

When I read the paper this morning it claimed CL “cursed” what’s his face…and now what’s his face is gonna sue…guess cause he got his feelings hurt. What a pussy.

I’m starting to like Loftis more and more. I hope said pussy threatened Loftis or something…and that Loftis called his bluff.

I wonder if the “cursing” was something akin to “I’ll kick your ass”.

I hope so. Good for Loftis if so, frankly most in office could use a good cursing in the least and a good ass kicking at the most.

nitrat October 12, 2013 at 9:19 am

Curtis would walk out of a meeting he is paid, by virtue of his job description, to attend because like ALL Republicans he is addicted to political gesture.

Armchair Quarterback November 8, 2013 at 3:27 pm

CML makes this stuff up on the fly. Preaches one standard and lives by a lesser one.

Giles October 11, 2013 at 5:02 pm

I have a very close friend that works at the commission. He says they are evil and he wants out. I don’t blame him.

M326 October 12, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Curtis, you must be less transparent than this.

Centrist View October 11, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Video of Curtis Loftis walking out of meeting posted in The State article.

? October 12, 2013 at 7:04 am

So this Oliver fellow quite and will possibly sue SC over being told that he spouts “bullshit”?!?! (which is probably true)

That’s it? LMAO! He’s a much bigger pussy than I thought.

In a weird way I hope it goes to trial. I’m curious to know what the damages for being told you are full of shit would be.

? October 12, 2013 at 7:25 am


Ins Guy October 11, 2013 at 9:00 pm

I read the press reports and I am shocked. The Commission bungled the personnel issue today. In fact, if the accounts are true, I suspect talking bout this in open session and having a press conference afterwards cost the state a million dollars in severance pay. I saw no facts that Loftis did anything wrong but Chairman Williams pressed the issue in public and as a consequence he has tied the hands of the insurance professionals. He should be removed from his office.

JD October 12, 2013 at 11:27 am

I spent 20 years settling these types of cases and I have never seen or read about such serious personnel issue being discussed in public and being used as a political football prior to a full investigation and settlement. At no time should this have been in the public domain and the outcome will certainly be prejudiced by this farce. The State will pay 5 or 10 times more in settlement dollars than it should because of the Commission’s maleficence.

M326 October 12, 2013 at 5:56 pm

And who do we blame for that? In my mind, we blame Loftis for putting us in this position in the first place. He is the one who dissed the employee. This guy is some real loose cannon.

JD October 12, 2013 at 7:05 pm

You must be a fool. You blame the person that set up the meeting for public display and held a press conference afterwards. I heard or read no evidence against Loftis except the man that stands to get a huge check. And I mean huge. That public stunt is going to cost the state of sc a fortune.
In the non-government world Oliver would not get a penny. Their insurance would be cancelled. And litigation would ensue from Loftis and Oliver.

M326 October 13, 2013 at 6:55 am

You sound like Loftis. Ever been sued?

Oldster October 13, 2013 at 12:59 pm

The lawyer that advised to have the discussions in public may have problems with the SC Bar. It was most unwise and frankly, indefensible.

M326 October 13, 2013 at 9:03 am

You must be a great lawyer if all you can do is ad hominem arguments.

Slartibartfast October 11, 2013 at 9:28 pm

So the pension board places its trust in the hands of Leatherman’s friend. LF (for short) gets the state investment returns which are sub-par while charging the largest fee among all the states in the Union. Loftis objects. The board counters by saying he cusses and pushes his staff (who are there because of the influence of the pension board.) Loftis holds a news conference and objects to the lousy returns and the lousy fee rip-off. The board counters, again, saying he cusses and pushes his staff.

Do the Pension board and Leatherman own people at The State? Will anybody do anything about the corruption on the Pension Board?

Yes. & No.

Windowver October 11, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Interviewed one of Curtis’s senior staffers a few weeks back for a job. Someone who is in the inner circle. Said he has installed surveillance equipment in the office. Surveillance equipment???
Boy may be as crazy as they say.

STO staffer October 12, 2013 at 6:56 am

I work at the Treasurer’s office and we have minimal security. We has security cameras in the hallways, locks of the doors and passwords on our computers. We do not have guards like many buildings in the complex. We do not have cameras in individual offices.
I think we should have more security.

M326 October 12, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Why? What do you fear?

STO Staffer October 13, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Thieves. Vagrants. Pick pockets. Drunks. These are all problems at the state house. Same thing everyone else fears when they put bolts of the doors.

Armchair Quarterback November 8, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Sounds like the Curtis I know.

dm10ae October 12, 2013 at 2:45 am

Greg Ryberg is qualified to head the commission? I’d let him run a lemonade stand but that’s it.

M326 October 12, 2013 at 6:21 am

I never knew Fitz was so knowledgeable in how retirement funds should be invested. Perhaps we should just put him in charge and eliminate all the expertise we have hired and appointed at the Investment Commission. He is clearly an expert and really knows what he is talking about. Hey, state employees, want to put Fitz in charge of your retirement fund? Hello? Hello? Thought so. And just how much do you charge Loftis for those ads? Enough to be his uncritical shill, obviously. Wake up, man.

Big Wuss October 12, 2013 at 10:15 am

A grown man who can’t stand up for himself has no business being a COO.

val October 12, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Hard to believe a man that resigns on the spur of the moment like a school girl made $220,000 a year.

nitrat October 12, 2013 at 11:58 am

What disturbs me most about all the blind devotion to Curtis Loftis is that it was this same kind of blind devotion that Mark Sanford was the object of until he took a hike. It was this same kind of emotion based defense of everything he did. We have been here and done this. Remember how that turned out for us and the state?

Don’t SC voters EVER learn a politician is a politician and to make the kind of emotional investment they have made in Loftis and Sanford is loony? You hate all politicians except the ones you think are gods?

Step back, people, step back and try to look at this kind of thing without thinking “my guy, right or wrong”…and never believing your guy could ever be wrong. Try to be objective.

I voted against the change in the SC Constitution to allow investment of state pension funds in these kinds of Mitt Romney private equity and hedge fund con games. It appears establishment GOPers, like those appointed to this board, are inclined to ignorantly bow down to those kinds of fund managers as Curtis believers are to bow down to him.
Everything about the SCRSIC should give us pause. I hope the state employee and retiree representative(s) know that if it looks like actual gambling, it probably is, and no state money from anywhere need to be invested in it.
But, there are some things about Curtis that should give us pause, too:
1. the early-on involvement of his “friend” Mallory Factor in contacting some of the fund managers and them understanding he was telling them he was acting on the instructions of Loftis. Of course, Factor was planning to get himself a cut of the state action for himself. Did we really ever get an answer about that whole deal from Loftis that makes sense?
2. This recent deal with the NY bank that appears to have returned so little. The deal where Curtis got a lawyer friend involved in when the deal was nearly settled and somehow got the original attorney representing us to just give Curtis’ friend $2M of his fee for coming aboard.
Do politicians throw these kinds of money making deals at people out of the goodness of their heart without expecting anything in return?
Curtis has brought out lots of information we need to know. But, Curtis doesn’t seem to be able to work effectively with people unless they’re his friends and he’s throwing state money at them. Knowing the full story on that is as important as what the SCRSIC is doing. In other words, transparency isn’t just something that the other guy needs to practice.

Shane October 12, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Odd post. You seem to like Curtis despite of yourself.

The two things you mention are non issues. Both looked at by judge or AG.

I am focusing on Curtis wailing against the machine. I don’t see anyone helping him. Maybe you could help him since you agree with him.

Thomas October 13, 2013 at 10:56 am

Gobbeldygook…this place reeks of it. The Retirement System Investment Commission is playing hardball with our Constitutional State Officer Curtis Loftis who sits on the RSIC.

The RSIC has ALL fiduciary responsibility for ALL investments for our taxpayer revenue created, taxpayer revenue funded:

A) South Carolina Retirement System

B) South Carolina Police Officers Retirement System

C) Retirement System for Members of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina

D)Retirement System for Judges and Solicitors of the State of South Carolina

E) National Guard Retirement System

This trusteeship over all fiduciary responsibility is a recent development. In fact, a SC Senate bill introduced by SC Senators Thomas Alexander, Nikki Setzler, Linda Short, Danny Verdin III, and Jake Knotts changed many aspects of the “retirement system”.

Evidently, Ryberg added an amendment somewhere as he helped write the 2005 State Retirement System Preservation and Investment Reform Act, now sits ON the RSIC.

As far as I can see, state officer Treasurer Loftis has a state constitutional mission statement to “Provide professional portfolio management and investment services to the State, her agencies and any political entity in the State through efficient, effective utilization of resources.” In other words, he is doing his job.

Henry Jr. October 13, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Of course the treasurer has that statutory authority.

Previous to Loftis the Commission had no hint of oversight. Loftis has fought them on a number of issues and won but the longer this goes on the harder it will be for Loftis to prevail. At some point the massive amount of money the Commission has to spend on fighting him will wear him down.

The events of Friday seem to have been a been caricature of an official meeting. It appears to have been a performance with only one goal in mind and that was to wipe Loftis off the political landscape. I can only hope the General Assembly and others were watching because this behavior is not worthy of a PTA meeting let alone the commission that minds my retirement funds.

Gamecocks rule October 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Thank you Curtis for looking out for South Carolina. I am glad someone is addressing the corruption and good ole boy network. You’re a great watchdog.

nitrat October 15, 2013 at 7:33 am Reply

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