New Jersey pension czar funnelsmoney into fund his firm invests in without disclosing ties
PENSION FUND FAIL: New Jersey’s ‘pensions czar’ is under the microscope for investments he made.
By Brad Matthews | WatchdogWire.com
Gov. Chris Christie’s friend and pensions overseer Robert Grady invested New Jersey money into a fund this his own private firm also invested in, according to the International Business Times, raising concerns about a conflict of interest.
In 2010, Christie appointed friend, former executive and GOP power broker Robert Grady to be the head of the State Investment Council, which is responsible for oversight of the investments made using money from the state pensions fund.
In 2011, Grady, in a larger strategy of shifting money into hedge funds and private equity, pushed to invest up to $1.8 billion in the Blackstone Group, and more specifically Blackstone Capital Partners VI.
What Grady did not disclose to New Jersey officials is that another investor in that group, Cheyenne Capital, had Grady as one of its partners. Cheyenne Capital also lists Grady as a managing director on its website.
Grady, from his position of trust and authority over the state’s pensions fund, lobbied the state to entrust pensions money in a group that his firm privately invested in. The transaction itself was legitimate, but there is a conflict of interest there that belies malfeasance.