Retirement Systems of Alabama, Montgomery, reached a $49 million settlement with five investment firms related to litigation over the collapse of Enron, said David G. Bronner, CEO of the $26 billion retirement system. Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse First Boston did not acknowledge any wrongdoing in the settlement, and the retirement system recovered about 85% of the $57 million it lost in Enron securities when the company collapsed, Mr. Bronner said.
Shirley Norton, Bank of America spokeswoman, said officials of the firm believe it's in the best interest of the bank and its shareholders to put this matter behind them. Merrill Lynch spokesman Mark Herr, CSFB spokeswoman Victoria Harmon and Citigroup spokeswoman Shannon Bell said their respective firms have no comment on the matter. JP Morgan Chase spokeswoman Kristin Lemkau did not return a call seeking comment by press time.
Mr. Bronner said the parties reached the settlement as the pension fund was preparing to ask a federal court in Texas to move the matter back to state court in Alabama. The pension fund initially filed its suit in Alabama state court about three years ago.
The pension fund also has litigation pending against several former Enron executives, which won't proceed until after criminal cases against some of the former executives are resolved, Mr. Bronner noted.