FORTUNE -- Wall Street is more than a bit freaked out Eliot Spitzer's redemptive campaign for New York City Comptroller, and what he might do at the helm of a $140 billion public pension fund system.
But one niche group that need not worry is the placement agent crowd -- a group of folks who serve as outsourced salesmen on behalf of hedge funds, private equity funds and other sorts of alternative investment opportunities.
Placement agents have a particularly dirty name in New York, due to a large pay-to-play scandal that ultimately landed former New York City Comptroller Alan Hevesi in prison (albeit for later actions taken while running the state's pension system, rather than the City's). In fact, they no longer are allowed to do business with state-level pension systems.
Spitzer, however, was sitting in the AG's chair while the corruption was ongoing. No arrests, no prosecutions. All of that had to wait for his successor, Andrew Cuomo.
Moreover, when the scandal did come to light, Spitzer's only real public comment was to brush it off during a 2009 television appearance on MSNBC. When asked about charges brought by Cuomo against private equity fund manager Steve Rattner, Spitzer referred to Rattner as an "extremely smart guy who appears to be doing a very good job" and one who did not commit an "illegal abuse of power."
The remarks clearly reflected an ongoing friendship between the two, but also that Spitzer did not view the placement agent scandal as terribly important.
For the record, Rattner would later agree to pay $10 million in restitution to the State of New York, and refrain for five years from appearing in any capacity before the New York pension fund. He also paid out $6.2 million to the SEC and agreed to a two-year securities industry ban.
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Riverstone Holdings emerges from scandal with a huge new fund.
FORTUNE -- Four years ago, Riverstone Holdings was messier than an oil slick.
The energy-focused private equity firm's longtime partner, The Carlyle Group (CG), was pulling away in order to form its own energy investing platform. Firm co-founder David Leuschen had admitted to bankrolling a low-budget film produced by the brother of an influential public pension fund manager in New York. And MOREDan Primack - Jun 20, 2013 2:49 PM ET
Private equity's placement agent saga takes a strange twist.
FORTUNE -- Is it chutzpah, a breach of contract or both?
Former "placement agent" Al Villalobos yesterday sued Apollo Global Management (APO) in a Nevada bankruptcy court, alleging that the firm had improperly withheld payments related to his capital-raising work on behalf of the firm. The complaint also includes the transcript of a recent deposition of Apollo founder Leon Black, which (finally) shines MOREDan Primack - Apr 17, 2013 11:52 AM ET
Judge slaps wrist of pay-to-play participant.
FORTUNE -- David Loglisci, the corrupt former chief investment officer for the New York State Common Retirement Fund, yesterday was sentenced to a "conditional discharge" rather than jail time.
Apparently Judge Lewis Bart Stone feels that managing an Oklahoma car wash – which apparently is Loglisci's new vacation – is punishment enough for orchestrating a pay-to-play scheme that involved such private equity firms as Quadrangle Group and Riverstone MOREDan Primack - Oct 10, 2012 12:16 PM ET
Andrew Cuomo today caught his biggest fish in the ongoing public pension corruption scandal, with a guilty plea from ex-Comptroller Alan Hevesi. Who else has been involved (so far)?
Alan Hevesi, the former New York state comptroller, today pled guilty to charges of felony public corruption. This is part of the noxious pay-to-play scandal, in which private equity fund managers paid a crooked "finder" to secure financial commitments from the state pension MOREDan Primack - Oct 7, 2010 1:24 PM ET
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