The Program for Financial Studies
The Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics Case Series
In 2011, the New York State Common Retirement Fund had more than $140 billion in assets and one million participants, making it one of the largest pension plans in the world. However, despite the fund's size, it had just one trustee: the state comptroller. Over a period of decades, several officials had abused this power, with one comptroller convicted of accepting $1 million in gifts in a pay-to-play exchange. In this case, students explore questions of corporate governance through an analysis of the fund's history and structure. Students determine what type of governance would best protect the pension system's members while also serving the interests of taxpayers, the fund's ultimate guarantors.
Case ID: 110307