NEW YORK — The $74 billion New York City Retirement Systems needs to make numerous organizational and policy changes to improve procedures and function more like other U.S. public pension funds, a highly critical report of the system's Bureau of Asset Management contends.
Independent Fiduciary Services Inc., Washington, conducted the 400-page operational review, commissioned by city Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr.
Among key findings:
-- The system doesn't have a written investment policy statement, or associated governance documents, for each of the five pension funds it covers. There are, however, policies for certain investment classes.
-- The manager selection process is unnecessarily lengthy and may result in lost market opportunities.
-- The lack of consistency in investment policy guidelines for the system's managers complicates the efforts of an overtaxed staff to monitor managers effectively and efficiently for compliance and risk.
-- The system doesn't make the best use of its consultants or their reports.
-- Asset-class performance is reviewed against benchmarks, but the benchmarks aren't officially documented in a policy statement.
-- The requirements for reporting of securities transactions and holdings are outdated and result in an unnecessary administrative burden on staff.