Monday, September 14, 2015

A couple financial experts on the City of Greensboro's ICMA-RC 457 plan

From today's letter to the editor, by mayoral candidate Devin King;

"The city has not responded to a 29-question inquiry
concerning George Hartzman’s proposal for the city’s 457 retirement plan,
which remains unanswered even after anonymous city employees 
sent a letter to the city 
and Councilman Tony Wilkins’ inquiries on July 1. 

Hartzman contends the plan 
could save Greensboro’s employees more than $500,000 per year, 
and the city won’t confirm or deny the validity of his arithmetic."

How Wall Street grabs $17 billion from investors’ portfolios every year

"...In its permissiveness toward non-fiduciary financial advisers, the current regulatory environment reflects its imbalance. Funded by the very corporations it’s charged with overseeing, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority supervises the 90% or so of financial advisers that sell what’s best for them instead of investors...

ICMA-RC is not considered a fiduciary
for Greensboro's employees,
letting City Management including Jim Westmoreland, 
Mary Vigue, members of ICMA, 
mislead and overcharge City participants
with the active help of ICMA member Jamal Fox
and the rest of City Council.

...[The Financial Industry should] once and for all prohibit the practice of revenue sharing, in which mutual fund companies pay 401(k) [and 457] plan administrators or sponsors [ICMA-RC] to put their funds on retirement plan menus. Stark conflicts of interest like revenue sharing are not acceptable, especially when they prey on a particularly vulnerable group like retirement savers....

ICMA-RC doesn't act in the best interests
of the City of Greensboro's employees, 
but the best interests of ICMA-RC
with the help of Jim Westmoreland, 
Mary Vigue, Connie Hammond, Rick Lusk, Larry Davis
and Jamal Fox. 

Bobby Monks is the former Chairman of Institutional Shareholder Services. His book with Justin Jaffe and Bree LaCasse, “Uninvested: How Wall Street Hijacks Your Money — and How to Fight Back,” was published by Penguin Random House in August."
The fine print on "VT", an acronym for Vantage Trust, from Greensboro's ICMA-RC plan;

"Section 401 or 457 plans invest in these “underlying” funds through the funds of the VantageTrust (“VT Funds”).  Reference to such underlying mutual fund ticker symbols or other non-performance data by VT Funds is for reference only and NOT reflective of the returns of the corresponding VT Funds [due to VT layered on fees].

Because of revenue sharing agreements 

The revenue amounts listed for VT Vantagepoint Funds and the VT PLUS Fund include all compensation paid by the fund to ICMA-RC and/or its affiliates.

City of Greensboro executive management 
knows they are letting ICMA-RC shaft their own employees
and didn't/won't do anything about it.

The Vantagepoint Funds are distributed by ICMA-RC Services LLC, a wholly owned broker-dealer subsidiary of ICMA-RC.

Which is a conflict of interest
fully supported via inaction by Jim Westmoreland, 
Mary Vigue, Connie Hammond, Rick Lusk, Larry Davis
and Jamal Fox. 

ICMA-RC or its affiliates receive payments [kickbacks to ICMA-RC via VT] from third-party mutual funds that underlie certain VantageTrust Funds that may be available for investment through your plan. These payments are for services rendered by ICMA-RC or its affiliates to plans and participants, and are in the form of 12b-1 fees, service fees, compensation for sub-accounting and other services provided by ICMA-RC or its affiliates."

Otherwise known as revenue sharing agreements
which pick the pockets of Greensboro's employees
with the help of Jim Westmoreland, Mary Vigue, Connie Hammond, 
Rick Lusk, Larry Davis, Jamal Fox and the rest of City Council
who not only don't mind ICMA-RC skimming from City employees,
but have actively worked to assure the status quo remains the same. 

ICMA-RC, located in the same Washington D.C. building as ICMA, was created by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) in 1972.  "its 10-member board includes four current or retired government officials and the executive director of the ICMA (as of 9/22/2010), who also is a retired government official. The ICMA-RC pays the ICMA a licensing fee...", like Nationwide pays the National Association of Counties for the same thing only different.

According to ICMA-RC's 2012 IRS form 990, Robert O'neal, ICMA's Executive Director, serves as a paid director of ICMA-RC.

San Antonio’s Assistant City Manager and ICMA member Frances Gonzalez serves on ICMA-RC's board. San Antonio has $254,377,728 of City employee funds with ICMA-RC.

Like Greensboro's Mary Vigue.

Decatur, Georgia’s City Manager and ICMA member Peggy Merriss serves on ICMA-RC's board as Decatur offers an overpriced ICMA-RC 457 retirement plan.

Like Greensboro's Jim Westmoreland.

"Civil Response in writing please" ICMA members Jim Westmoreland and Mary Vigue trying to play Greensboro mayoral candidate Devin King for a fool, and losing

An email from Greensboro City Council mayoral candidate Devin King to the City's Jim Westmoreland, David Parrish, Chris Wilson, Wesley Reid and Mary Vigue

Some recent recent economic posts and other locally business related links, as we descend into financial instability and recession/depression

A July 1, 2015 open letter to Greensboro City Councilman Tony Wilkins from some anonymous City employees invested in ICMA-RC's 457 Retirement Plan, who fear retaliation, without a response from the City