Sunday, August 13, 2017

Bl. Twp. INTERVIEWS for INVESTMENT ADVISOR

Hi All,

PUBLIC MEETINGS... held at the Bloomfield Township Offices in the CONFERENCE room.

MONDAY  8/14/17 @ 7:15  AM......and again THURSDAY 8/17/17 @ 7:15 AM  .....get up very early ....  the Bloomfield Township  Financial Sustainability Committee will be interviewing companies that responded and apparently "qualified" from the RFP that was posted on the township website.

FYI:    The township DENIED my FOIA to review the RFP submitted proposals. I wanted to learn more about each company  before the interviews as Public Comment comes before the interviews.  Weird.  Township's way of silencing voices?

FYI:  My FOIA reply included the following paragraph ( I highlighted in red an interesting statement):
A portion of your request has been denied. Per 15.243 (1)(f)(ii), “The promise of confidentiality is authorized by the chief administrative officer of the public body or by an elected official at the time the promise is made.” Per page six (6), section VI (c) of the Request for Proposal (RFP) for Investment Advisor and Consulting Services for 401(a) Defined Contribution Plan, 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan, Retiree Health Care Trust (VEBA), Equity Fund for Defined Benefit Pension Plan, Retirement Health Savings Plan and 529 College Savings Plan, “The Township will treat all information submitted as available for public inspection once the execution of the contract has occurred.” Therefore, the RFP responses as requested in your FOIA submittal are not available at this time.
 
I attended a previous FSC meeting on July 24, 2017 where a "matrix"  was created by Treasurer Kepes and Finance Director Theis  and was given only to the members of the FSC.   That "matrix" was about the 9 RFP respondents.   The committee members (on recommendation from Kepes), will only interview 5 of the respondents although 6 were deemed "qualified" respondents as one did not have any public fund clients yet.  The "matrix" had line items for "entities and assets" which mentioned very brief info about how many institutional clients and some mentioned assets;    "recordkeeper" line item (on matrix all answered "no" );  "consultant/advisor"  all answers on matrix for this was "yes"  and then there was "management and team"  and each listed names of employees with those companies that apparently would be handling the township investments IF THEY get the job.

FYI:  The FSC members did not get the full RFP proposals at this meeting.  The "matrix"  didn't have a line item for COST !    Have the FSC members even seen the full proposals?  If yes,  have they then shared any thoughts or ideas with each other?  Has there been behind closed doors discussion about these companies?  Is there a set list of questions to be asked at the interviews?  Who knows?

FYI:  Schwartz & Co.  has been doing the township investments for more than a decade.    Graystone Consulting recently was chosen by the FSC for a previous study about Prudential Defined Benefit Pension Plan (even though another company seemed more qualified/ but Graystone had an OHCC possible connection to  FSC members).  At the July 24, 2017 meeting I THOUGHT  I heard Treasurer Kepes say that Graystone Consulting was ?currently? doing some sort of study or work for the township ???  No minutes to check.  Would seem to be a conflict of interest if Graystone is consulting and also being interviewed.  

So, what companies are on the agenda MONDAY and which ones are on the agenda for THURSDAY?
Here are the 5 companies from the "matrix" that will be interviewed one of the days (Mon. or Thurs.) but I don't know the order and it was NOT mentioned in the AGENDA.
So, in no particular order and listed as the names were printed and shown on the "matrix":

Sheridan Road
AndCo Consulting
Retirement Plan Advisors
Graystone Consulting
Schwartz & Co.


FROM THE RFP language: 

The township is ".... seeking an investment advisor and consultant for its various fiduciary funds.  The Township has not created an independent board to manage these assets, but it does have a Financial Sustainability Committee that is involved in this RFP process."
From the RFP ( consolidated by me) 
 
1.  401(a) Defined Contribution Plan   -  current balance over $5 M    -  current number of participants 117  -  Currently American Funds -  began 2005 for new hires

2.  457(a) Deferred Compensation Plan  - current COMBINED balance is over $21 M   -  current participants 313  -  choice of 2 :  Empower or Voya

3.  Retiree Health Care Trust (VEBA)   - current COMBINED balance is about $10M  - does NOT mention # of participants  -  started 2005- more investment funds added recently

4.  Defined Benefit Pension Plan  -   $160 M held and managed by PRUDENTIAL/ NOT part of this proposal  - does NOT mention # of participants -   
         HOWEVER:    "There are other pension assets held in an Equity Fund for the Defined Benefit Pension Plan.  This is where the Township INVESTED its $80 M in pension obligation BONDS issued in November 2013.  The balance has decreased because the Township has had to transfer funds from this account to the assets held with Prudential per certain provisions in the contract.  The current balance of this fund is about $55 M. "     Note:  RFP response was due June 15, 2017 to the township.

5.  Retirement Health Savings Plan  - current # of participants is 101  -  Current balance is about $900 k   -  began in 2011 for new hires 

6.  529 College Savings Plan  - currently 24 individual accounts   -  current balance combined is over $600 k  -    American Funds


For the following extra "NOTES" ... See BOARD PACKET July 24, 2017 Board of Trustees  for more details:      https://bloomfieldtwpmi.documents-on-demand.com/
NOTE:  this RFP does not talk about the 17 budgeted funds (twp. used to report there were 20 funds)   with the four main funds being General, Road, Public Safety, Water and Sewer.   The FINANCIAL REPORT (as opposed to Investment Report)  shows an adopted budget of $92,988,410.00   PRIOR FISCAL YEAR  with expenses over budget by ($1,396,395.00).    I believe that any department that needs to go "over budget" must come before the Board of Trustees for approval before going there.   Almost $1.4 M over budget last year???   I don't believe any department head/ responsible person  came before the Board of Trustees requesting an adjustment to their budget.  How much and what funds were involved  with withdrawals  and moved into investment funds?




 NOTE:  this RFP does not talk about the Oakland County Local Government Investment Pool which basically Savoie and Kepes began investing w/township board approval/ in the fall of 2016.  Initial deposit was approximately 1 M.   Perhaps more?   What twp. account funded that initial deposit is unknown to me.  Since then,  the township has deposited more money...again from unknown accounts by me.... and perhaps unknown to many others including Trustees.  Have not seen specifics at Board meetings.   FACT:    On  June 1, 2017  the balance was $26,137,593.16.  Records show that a total of  $4 M was withdrawn in June.   The July 1, 2017 balance in this investment pool is $ 22,137,593.16.    QUESTION:  What is that figure now in August 2017?

NOTE:  this RFP also does not specifically mention the T-Bills with FIFTH THIRD SECURITIES  as an investment vehicle.  Is it  because the township made this initial transaction on June 15, 2017 ( the same day the RFP proposals were due to the township). Once again,  what Twp. account did $14M   get withdrawn from in order to undertake this investment form?   Is just the Treasurer making these investment decisions?  Don't know.
 








Please try to attend the meeting.  No video, usually poor quality audio, and debatable minutes.  My opinion. 
Marcia

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