New Orleans-based pension funds and money managers remained closed today, after Hurricane Katrina hammered the Gulf Coast Monday. Officials at the $390 million New Orleans City Employees Retirement System, the $200 million New Orleans Firefighters Pension & Relief Fund, the $199 million New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board Employees' Pension Fund and the $700 million Tulane University endowment could not be reached. Most calls would not connect, likely due to downed phone lines. Calls made to Orleans Capital Management, Advantage Capital Partners, Enhanced Capital Partners and Equitas Capital Advisors also didn't connect.
Those in Baton Rouge, La., didn't experience Katrina's full wrath. The state pension funds based there remained closed today, but officials said their offices weren't damaged and business will resume Wednesday.
Thomas B. Sims, administrative director of the $1.7 billion Parochial Employees' Retirement System of Louisiana, said power at the plan's offices was restored today. Mr. Sims said Baton Rouge has a "very manageable situation" compared with New Orleans; he expressed concern about the storm's effect on the fund's participants, many of whom live in the New Orleans area.
Dan Bryant, CIO of the $12 billion Teachers' Retirement System of Louisiana, said he was in the office briefly to check on the computer system and that everything was working.
Jason Starns, retirement benefits analyst at the $800 million Louisiana Firefighters' Retirement System, said staff arrived this morning but were sent home early.
Light crude oil futures were trading at $69.90 a barrel in late-afternoon trading today, down from a high today of $70.80 but up $2.70 from Monday's close.