INVESCO to continue pension fund management

August 06, 1997


Staff Writer

INVESCO Capital Management Inc., the company that arranged for three top county officials to attend the exclusive Masters golf championship, will continue to manage the county's $22 million pension fund until a new contract is awarded, County Purchasing Agent Karen Luther said Tuesday.

Luther said she hoped to have a new contract awarded at the Aug. 26 meeting of the Washington County Commissioners.

Luther said it is not uncommon for contractors to provide services after the contract has ended. She said she didn't know if INVESCO would receive a pro-rated portion of their management fee, which is slightly more than one half of a percent of assets per year charged on a quarterly basis.

Luther said the bids that the county received for the new contract have been opened by a committee that will make a recommendation to the commissioners.


Luther said vacations by different members of the committee have delayed a recommendation.

Information about the bids, including who bid, how much they bid and how many bidders there were would not be released until the matter was brought before the commissioners, she said.

County Commissioner Ronald L. Bowers questioned Tuesday why local banks were not sent letters of invitation to submit bids. Luther said she didn't think of the banks as providing investment services but can invite them to bid on future contracts. Luther noted that the contract was advertised in local newspapers and national trade papers.

Washington County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook, County Administrator Rodney Shoop and Human Resources Director Alan Davis obtained tickets to The Masters through INVESCO, which has invested the county's $22 million pension fund since 1994. The county paid the company more than $100,000 in the last year, Luther said.

Despite INVESCO's offer of free admission to the April tournament and free accommodations, the county officials each paid the $100 a day price for their tickets and $100 a day for their food and lodging.

A limited number of the highly coveted $100 tickets are sold to an exclusive list of ticket holders and the waiting list to become a ticket holder closed out in 1978, according to tournament officials.

Tickets can be scalped for as much as $8,000, Golf Digest Senior Editor Mike O'Malley estimated.

The Ethics Commission last week described the action as "not a bright idea" but said it was "hard to find a conflict of interest."

The commission also said Snook, Shoop and Davis have disqualified themselves "in every respect from the process of awarding the contract," the Ethics Commission opinion stated.

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