The National Association of State Treasurers on Oct. 20 passed a resolution crafted by Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner calling for greater transparency of private equity investments.

“Private equity firms that do business with public funds are realizing that greater transparency is becoming the expectation,” Magaziner said from Nashville, site of a NAST’s annual meeting. "This is the public's money, and the public has a right know how their private equity funds are performing and the fees they are charging."

The organization unanimously recommended that public pension funds develop strategies to collect and report the actual cost of investing in private equity. Magaziner collaborated with Missouri Treasurer Clint Zweifel to draft the resolution.

“Such a standard will allow us to accomplish those goals and set clear expectations for the cost of investing,” NAST said in a statement.

Magaziner ran point for the initiative last summer, forming a coalition of state and municipal public pension funds with about $1 trillion in combined assets that called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to require private equity firms to reveal more about fees and expenses related to their management of public pension plans.

The coalition included California State Treasurer John Chiang, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer. On Oct. 12, Chiang called for full transparency in the reporting of fees charged by private equity firms to the state's public pension systems.

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