W. Greg Ryberg was hired on Friday as chief operating officer of the South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission at a special meeting in its Columbia headquarters. He will start work on Monday.
Mr. Ryberg, a former state senator, replaces Darry A. Oliver, who resigned Friday. Mr. Oliver started on Feb. 28 and was RSIC's first COO.
Mr. Ryberg “brings to us a unique combination of experiences in business and finance, in politics and with this agency in particular. His background will allow him to ignore distractions and focus on the operations of the commission,” said Reynolds Williams, RSIC's chairman, in a statement.
Mr. Ryberg currently is COO of REI Inc., a real estate management and development company.
The investment commission oversees investment of the $26.8 billion South Carolina Retirement Systems, Columbia.
Mr. Williams called the Oct. 11 special meeting to discuss a report about alleged abusive bullying and improper communications with RSIC staff by Curtis M. Loftis Jr., South Carolina Treasurer and a member of the investment commission, according to a video recording of part of the meeting.
Mr. Reynolds referred specifically to a Sept. 30 telephone call between Messrs. Oliver and Loftis in which he said Mr. Loftis was abusive to and swore at Mr. Oliver.
Mr. Loftis contested the elements of the Sept. 30 conversation in a news release issued midday on Friday.
Mr. Loftis said Mr. Oliver told him: “I'm coming after you with everything I have and we're (the commission) coming after you with everything we have,” according to the release.
Mr. Oliver did not publicly state his reasons for resigning the COO post, said Danny Varat, RSIC's public information officer, in an e-mailed response to questions. Mr. Oliver could not be reached for comment.
“The commission regrets the loss of Mr. Oliver, but we completely understand his unwillingness to suffer further abuse,” Mr. Reynolds said in a statement issued after Friday's meeting.
Mr. Loftis moved to consider the report on bullying in executive session, but the motion did not pass. He left the meeting after about five minutes before discussion of the bullying report and before an anti-bullying policy was adopted by the commission.
Shortly after adoption of the new policy, the commission adjourned into executive session to discuss personnel and legal matters.
In a news release issued shortly after the RSIC meeting began, Mr. Loftis said “in retaliation for exposing the practice of rewarding poor performance and paying exorbitant fees, the (RSIC) has resorted to more personal attacks.”
The video of some of the Oct. 11 RSIC meeting is available on South Carolina's website.