Hurricane Matthew disrupted the businesses of pension funds and money managers in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina on Thursday as executives closed offices and canceled meetings in anticipation of the deadly storm.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued a statement on his website that said: “Time is up. You have to evacuate now if you are in an evacuation zone. To everyone on Florida's east coast, if you are reluctant to evacuate, just think of all the people the hurricane has already killed. You and your family could be among these numbers if you don't take this seriously.”
Counties in the evacuation zone include Broward County, which includes offices for the $807 million Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Police & Fire Retirement System and the $586 million Fort Lauderdale General Employees' Retirement System, and Palm Beach County, which includes offices for the Boca Raton Retirement Systems.
The Fort Lauderdale General Employees' Retirement System canceled its scheduled board meeting on Thursday and a voicemail at the pension fund's office said the offices are closed until Monday.
Fred Nesbitt, public information officer for the Fort Lauderdale Police & Fire Retirement System, said in an e-mail that most offices in Broward County are closed through Monday.
“The storm is to hit here about 7 p.m. tonight (through) 7 a.m. on (Friday) — and then we have cleanup. Best I can tell you,” Mr. Nesbitt said.
City of Boca Raton offices are closed, which includes the retirement systems' offices, until Monday. A current asset size for the retirement systems was not available by press time. The offices of Boca Raton-based money manager Polen Capital Management are open Thursday and “executing business as normal,” a spokeswoman said in an e-mail.
Among investment consultants, Dahab Associates, an investment consultant based in Bay Shore, N.Y., closed its Hollywood, Fla., offices Thursday, a spokeswoman said, and officials in The Bogdahn Group's office in Orlando, Fla., could not be immediately reached.
Joey Greive, Jacksonville, Fla., city treasurer and chief investment officer of the $2 billion Jacksonville City Retirement System, was not available. The offices of the $1.8 billion Jacksonville (Fla.) Police & Fire Pension Fund were closed Thursday and will be closed Friday, according to its website.
The Tallahassee-based offices of the Florida Retirement System, as well as Florida State Board of Administration, which oversees the money management of the $141.4 billion pension fund, have not been affected by the impending hurricane, said John Kuczwanski, SBA spokesman, in an e-mail.
Also, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. announced its Miami offices would be closed Thursday.
State offices in Richland County, S.C., have been closed by executive order, but offices of the South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission, Columbia, which manages the assets of the $28 billion South Carolina Retirement Systems, remain open, spokesman Danny Varat said in an e-mail.
Commission CEO Michael Hitchcock elected to keep the commission's offices open, Mr. Varat said, but those employees “who have logistical issues due to closed schools are not expected to come in.”
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory issued a state of emergency on Monday. Since it is now just expected to brush the coast late Saturday, Mr. McCrory said in a statement that state officials still “are going to continue to be over overprepared and hopefully underwhelmed.”
The treasurer's office, which manages the $116.4 billion North Carolina Retirement Systems, Raleigh, is not doing anything for storm preparations, and officials at Duke University, Durham, N.C., and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, could not be immediately reached.
Hazel Bradford and Christine Williamson contributed to this story.