The American Federation of Teachers released a second edition of its list of money managers that the union states “manage defined benefit plans” while simultaneously assisting or supporting organizations that “are attempting to eliminate these very same pension plans.”
The report, “Ranking Asset Managers: A Retirement Security Report on Money Managers for Pension Fund Trustees — 2nd Edition,” lists 29 money management firms the union says have top executives who have “contributed to, or sit on the governing board of, an organization that advocates for the replacement of defined benefit plans with defined contribution or cash-balance plans.”
New to the list are Aon Corp., parent of Hewitt EnnisKnupp; GTCR and Highbridge Capital Management. The report reserves special mention for Chicago-based private equity manager GTCR, whose retired chairman, Bruce Rauner, is an Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate.
“Having earned millions as an asset manager of defined benefit plans, Rauner is now, as a gubernatorial candidate, calling for freezing the benefits of the state's defined benefit pension plans and putting all new public employees in a defined contribution plan,” the report said.
The union's first Ranking Asset Managers report, published last April, has been amended twice to remove six firms, including AQR Capital Management and KKR. Following the publication of the report, executives at both firms detailed their support for defined benefit plans in letters to their pension plan clients.
Dimensional Fund Advisors is also no longer on the list.
ATF President Randi Weingarten was not immediately available to provide further comment, nor were officials at GTCR available.
The report is available on the union's website.