I was fortunate to inherit 60 intelligent and hardworking Treasurer’s office staffers that have allowed me to make many enhancements to not only the office, but elsewhere in state government. The successes listed below are theirs, and it is all due to their dedication, experience and diligence.
FUTURE SCHOLAR 529 PROGRAM
o 64% increase in sales for the direct plan;
o 48% increase in sales for the advisor plan;
o Over 102,000 accounts have now been opened.
o 26 Babies participated—well above actuary and internal estimates of 4-6.
• Upgraded antiquated software system resulting in increased efficiencies and enhanced reporting tools.
• Increased security procedures for property holders.
• Updated UPP website to include additional information for claimants, clearer instructions for holders and the ability for a claimant to request a claim. This has sped up the claim process and allowed employees to increase productivity.
• Held 11 Hometown Tours across the State allowing locals to meet the Treasurer and search for claims.
• Held 7 phone banks at local news stations to promote the UPP program resulting in breaking station’s call records and STO claims filed.
• Established a UPP Compliance Division that works with holders that escheat funds to the STO.
• The total funds held by UPP are a record high of approximately $420 million dollars.
• Processed claims increased by 82%.
• Dollars paid to rightful owners increased by 65%.
• Holders reporting unclaimed property increased by 12%.
• Dollars remitted by holders increased by 43%.
• Accounts reported by holders increased by 48%.
• Stock shares sold increased by 180%
• 95% of holder reports were submitted to the STO electronically.
• Over the past three years:
o 82,035 claims processed.
o $37,367,818 unclaimed funds returned to rightful owners.
o 274,264 stock shares sold.
o Largest single payout to an individual was $277,000.
• Outperformed the 90 day Treasury bills benchmark for three consecutive years.
• Outperformed the 90 day Federal funds benchmark for three consecutive years.
• LGIP outperformed the 90 day Treasury bills benchmark for three consecutive years.
• The BidSC Program’s quarterly CD auctions have generated an additional $441,972 in earnings over the last three years.
• Provided investment services at a cost of less than .014% compared to an industry average of .10%.
• Increase in LGIP participants utilizing the Internet Participants Access System resulting in cost-savings and increased efficiencies.
• Renegotiated the LGIP advisor contract.
• LGIP program meeting all internal controls per the external audit.
• Enhanced LGIP website to publicize the program and uploaded an online video testimonial from two LGIP participants and supporters.
BOARD OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
• Created BoFI subcommittees to delegate the work load and include more Board members in their oversight duties of BoFI.
• Increased interaction of Board and Agency.
• Posted all BoFI meeting minutes online.
• Updated Board of Financial Institutions websites to make them more user friendly and added more public information for interested taxpayers and key customers.
• Review budget and balance sheet regularly and working on process improvements.
• Strengthening staff skills by beefing up job descriptions, hiring personnel with enhanced credentials and encouraging staff participation in conferences/continuing education.
RETIREMENT SYSTEM INVESTMENT COMMISSION
• Reveled that:
o That Chairman Reynolds Williams was warned by the SC Ethics Commission that the “appearance of impropriety does exist” in relation to his behavior in the American Timberlands Investment.
o $773 million of investment fees and expenses were unreported in audited statements for FY2010, 11, 12;
o $427.5 million a FY2013 paid in investment fees and expenses to Wall Street;
o RSIC pays the highest investment fees and expenses in the nation (on % basis);
o Routinely rank in the bottom 20% in investment performance;
o $1.3 billion in unachieved returns due to below average investment returns over three years;
o Staff compensation ranks in the 10% nationally despite bottom 20% investment performance;
o $1.4 million in bonuses awarded to 14 staff;
o Former CEO/CIO travel to Bermuda on private jets provided by money manager who does business with RSIC.
• Because of those facts revealed to the public, these changes have been made:
o Financial Statements now in compliance with GAAP (concerning fees).
o Began dissolving expensive and unneeded investment structures..
o Implemented a formal investment approval process.
o Emphasis placed on ethics, conflicts of interest and sourcing of investments.
o Implemented insider trading and gifts policy
o Two reviews of internal controls and risk have been performed.
o Development of the operational due diligence program.
o Implemented initial due diligence guidelines.
o Implemented formal ongoing due diligence guidelines.
o Implemented an internal audit function.
o Hired internal auditor.
o Now has functioning internal audit committee.
o Hired compliance officer.
o Implemented Whistle Blower policy.
o Created Valuation Policies and Procedures committee jointly with PEBA.
o Percentage of assets in BNY custody have increased from 30% to 39%
o Nondisclosure agreement signed that allows STO staff and others to review confidential documents.
o Reduction in allocation to alternative investments.
o Moving to more passive, less active management.
o Renegotiating agreements with investment managers
o Moving from expensive fund of funds to direct investments
o Increased emphasis on management, control and reporting.
o Hired new CIO.
o Hired new general consultant.
o Established a 30-day review period for Commissioner’s to review an investment contract prior to execution.