CHICAGO -- Money managers have contributed almost $65,000 to the campaign of Miriam Santos, the Democratic challenger for Illinois attorney general.
Ms. Santos, Chicago city treasurer, received contributions from 34 investment firms for the most recent reporting date of June 30 --including many that manage money for the four city pension funds on whose boards she sits as an ex-officio member.
Together, the four pension funds -- Laborers' Annuity & Benefit Fund, Municipal Employees' Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago, Firemen's Annuity & Benefit Fund, and Policemen's Annuity & Benefit Fund -- have $10.5 billion in assets.
Incumbent Attorney General Jim Ryan, by contrast, had only two money management firms listed as contributors: CenterPoint Properties Trust and Wayne Hummer & Co., both of Chicago, contributed $1,250 and $200, respectively.
NO 'SERIOUS PRESSURE'
Although Ms. Santos is under investigation by the FBI on charges she solicited campaign contributions from brokers in exchange for city business, all of the money managers contacted by Pensions & Investments said there had been no serious pressure from Ms. Santos to contribute to her campaign.
Louis Navellier, principal of Navellier & Associates, Reno, Nev., topped the list of all Ms. Santos' contributors with a $10,000 donation to the campaign. His firm manages a $47 million small-cap equity portfolio for the city fire fund.
Mr. Navellier attributed his donation to his and his wife's attendance at many of Ms. Santos' fund-raising functions and his wife's love of Chicago. "It's important that people know she (Ms. Santos) never solicited," he said, describing his experience with the campaign.
In describing the board of trustees for the firemen's fund, Mr. Navellier said, "Those people are so clean they squeak."
Sam DeKinder, director of North American institutional marketing for INVESCO Inc., Atlanta, donated $250 to Ms. Santos' campaign, while other officials at the firm donated larger amounts totaling $4,750.
INVESCO manages a $68 million equity portfolio for the city laborers' fund and $25 million for the firemen's fund, according to Nelson's.
Mr. DeKinder said he donated to the Santos campaign because she has been supportive of labor issues. INVESCO supports labor and often works with Taft-Hartley plans, he said.
"Since we get asked (to contribute to political campaigns), it's almost like you have a target on your back when you're in the service business," Mr. DeKinder said.
INVESCO, like most firms, has a large and strict compliance department where campaign contributions are approved, he said.
A spokeswoman at the firm said it is INVESCO's policy not to contribute to political campaigns, but individuals independently can contribute without reimbursement. But state records show the firm itself contributed $500 to the campaign. The spokeswoman would not comment further.
Six other INVESCO employees gave money to Ms. Santos' campaign -- three marketers and three portfolio managers.
Officials of Chicago-based UBS Brinson gave Ms. Santos a total of $3,500 during the first half of the year.
Brinson manages $261 million for the municipal fund, $548 million for the laborers' fund and $127 million for the policemen's fund.
Samuel Anderson, managing director; Richard Carr, managing director; Gary Fencik, managing director; and John McLaughlin, a director, all donated money.
Mr. Fencik said his $1,500 donation was "a personal decision and a personal contribution."
"I'm aware of potential conflicts of interest," he said, adding he runs all of his political contributions past Mr. Anderson, who is in charge of compliance for the firm.
Mr. Anderson himself gave $500 to the campaign. He said he met Ms. Santos when she was first appointed city treasurer: "She was going around trying to gain momentum to clean up the office. We had all of our business (from the city funds) before she came into the treasurer's office."
Cutler & Co., Medford, Ore., and Lunn Partners, Chicago, both gained business from the firemen's fund in January and made campaign contributions in February.
Cutler donated $250; Lunn officials donated a total of $2,000. The firms were hired to manage $27 million each in large-cap equities. Officials at Cutler were not available for comment.
Robert Lunn, managing partner at Lunn Partners, said he has never met Ms. Santos and donated to her campaign because he has been a "supporter of Democrats."
Institutional Capital Management, which contributed $250 in January and $250 in February to the campaign, was given an additional $10 million to manage in large-cap equities in January. Institutional Capital, Chicago, manages $61 million for the firemen's fund.
Gary Maurer, executive vice president, said the firm's attractive returns were the reason for the allocation. The firm felt no pressure to contribute, he said.
Chicago Asset Management's Jon Holsteen, Tom Harmon and William Zimmer made a total of $2,000 in contributions; their firm was terminated in January as a manager of the firemen's fund, but runs more than $400 million in total for the laborers', municipal and policemen's funds.
Calls to Chicago Asset Management officials were not returned.
Ms. Santos voted against the motion to hire Cutler and Lunn Partners, according to meeting minutes. She also made the motion to terminate Chicago Asset Management as a manager of the fund, effective immediately, at the January meeting.
Ms. Santos' campaign manager, Alton Miller, emphasized she is only one vote on the pension board. Other calls specifically to Ms. Santos were not returned.
Other contributions were made by people affiliated with: Ariel Capital Management; Bank of America; Keeley Asset Management; Capital Associates; Forstmann-Leff International; Abacus Financial Group; Fortaleza Asset Management; Montag & Caldwell; Great Lake Advisors Inc.; Walton Street Capital; American Express Asset Management; Becker VanEtten Inc.; Bear Stearns Asset Management; First Analysis Corp.; Weiss Peck & Greer LLC; Chilmark Partners LLC; Integrated Financial Management; Scudder Kemper Investments; Stein Roe & Farnham; Lincoln Capital Management; Holland Capital Management; Hull Equity Management; Investment Advisers Inc.; Alliance Capital Management; Sam Zell; Strong Capital Management and CenterPoint Properties.
Of those, only CenterPoint, Walton Street, IAI and Forstmann-Leff are not managers for any of the city pension funds with which Ms. Santos is affiliated, according to the 1998 Money Market Directory.
CenterPoint contributed $1,000 to Ms. Santos four months before contributing to the campaign of incumbent Mr. Ryan. A spokeswoman at CenterPoint said the firm as a civic company makes various political contributions to local and state politicians.