Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee, continues to be under an SEC investigation originally announced in March 2008 into its management of its former Local Government Investment Pool, Ash Williams, executive director and CIO, said in an interview.
Mr. Williams refuted a published report in the St. Petersburg Times that said the board failed to make the formal investigation public. He said FSBA posted information about the investigation on its website in March 2008 and subsequently has made references to it, including it in the $133.7 billion board’s annual report, Mr. Williams said.
In July 2008, the SEC issued a document called “Formal Order of Private Investigation” and required the FSBA to keep that order confidential. But when the newspaper recently asked for documents pertaining to the SEC, the FSBA made it public in the interest of being transparent, he said.
The board has been cooperating fully with the SEC investigation. John Heine, SEC spokesman, said agency officials would neither confirm nor deny any investigation was being conducted.
The pool, then with about $30 billion in assets, was closed temporarily in 2007 because of liquidity problems. Since then, the FSBA and the Florida Legislature “moved aggressively” to overhaul it “to better protect” the local and other public entities in the state that invest in it, according to an FSBA statement today.
Federated Investors is now the sole asset manager for the pool, which was renamed Florida PRIME. It has full daily liquidity and has a Standard & Poor’s rating of AAAm, the agency’s highest for such a money market fund. Florida PRIME has $5.07 billion in assets as of today, according to its website.
The reforms include annual legal compliance certifications by an independent law firm and annual investment best practices certification by an external investment consulting firm.