Ex-Pennsylvania Pension CIO Cleared of Allegations

An independent investigation has found no evidence of illegal behavior by former CIO Tony Clark.

The former CIO of the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS), Tony Clark, has been cleared of all allegations of potential illegal behavior during his tenure.

The Philadelphia-based law firm Obermayer Rebman Maxwell & Hippel conducted an independent investigation into the accusations and found “no evidence of illegality.”

Clark retired in December last year after the $27 billion fund decided to investigate his tenure. According to confidential legal documents previously obtained by CIO, Clark had allegedly misled the SERS board about a $250 million investment with Tiger Asset Management and trading on his own account using the pension plan’s information.

“There was never any truth or basis in fact for these accusations,” Clark said. “I am relieved to have the shadow cast by unfounded allegations removed from my professional life.”

The investigation included 22 comprehensive interviews with current and former SERS personnel, board members, and consultants about “Clark’s personality, his confrontational style of leadership, and his perceived investment biases.” Obermayer also reviewed Clark’s computer files at SERS.

Clark said he is eager to move on from these “frivolous allegations” and hopefully resume his career. “While technically I am retired, I still want to be involved in asset management. I’m interested in serving on a board or working for a foundation. I think I still have a lot to contribute.”

The former CIO stressed that there is no pending investigation by any prosecuting agency.

“I understand no one will retain me as long as there are outstanding questions with regards to these allegations under investigation,” Clark said. “I’m grateful to have my reputation as a competent and ethical investment professional reaffirmed.”

Obermayer suggested the SERS board take on a “due diligence and governance evaluation of the investment officer’s practices and procedures and consider retaining an independent expert to compare the office to the best practices in the public pension industry.”

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