Jesse Jackson, leader of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and the National Urban League, sent a letter to Ohio Gov. Robert Taft requesting a meeting to discuss the possibility that the $14.5 billion Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, Columbus, reverse its recent decision to terminate all 69 of its active money managers. In an interview today, Mr. Jackson eight of the fund's 12 minority-owned money managers outperformed their benchmarks.
"But now, in a rush to judgment, all of this success is being discarded. … Fifty years after Rosa Parks, minority firms are not just being pushed to the back of the bus, we are actually being thrown off."
In the letter, sent Wednesday on behalf of the Wall Street Project, a unit of Rainbow/PUSH, Mr. Jackson requested a Dec. 13 meeting with the governor and the state's Workers' Compensation Oversight Commission, the governor-appointed group that decided late last month to terminate all of 69 of the plan's active money managers and invest the assets with fixed-income managers.
Mark Rickel, a spokesman for Gov. Taft's office, said: "The governor expects that the decision-makers would listen to all of the interested parties and their point of view."
Bureau spokesman Jeremy Jackson said: "BWC's decision to terminate all of its active managers was based on the fact that the fund's previous investment strategy was based on a total return policy and that the amount of (investment) risk in the plan was outside acceptable parameters. The decision was not related to any one particular manager or the performance of any of the managers,"
Andrew Carr, executive director of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, did not return calls by press time.