Gov. Bevin Takes Critical Step to Address $35 Billion Underfunded Pension System

Gov. Bevin Takes Critical Step to Address $35 Billion Underfunded Pension System

Bill Stephens

June 17th, 2016



FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 17, 2016) – Gov. Matt Bevin today announced the abolishment of the Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Trustees and the creation of the Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Directors as an agency of state government charged with the responsibility of securing, managing and overseeing the combined retirement systems in a fiduciary capacity.

The reorganization is critical in helping to address the state’s pension system which is underfunded by over $35 billion.

The reorganization will provide a more focused, expert vision and purpose, designed to carry out the objectives honoring the expectations of current retirees and employees. It will also help promote and achieve greater transparency, expertise, efficiency and improved administration of the Kentucky Retirement Systems.

Gov. Bevin has appointed four new members, all of whom have investment experience. All current members will retain their seat on the board. Members John R. Farris and David L. Eager were appointed Chairman and Vice Chairman.

William S. Cook, David L. Harris, Neil P. Ramsey and John E. Chilton have been appointed as members of the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Retirement Systems.

-William S. Cook, of Louisville, retired from KKR Prisma in early 2015. He joined the firm at its launch in 2004. Since Prisma’s inception, he was an Investment Committee member, comprised of the four group leaders and CEO of KKR Prisma. Bill was a senior portfolio manager, leading the investment research and portfolio management group. Prior to joining KKR Prisma, Mr. Cook worked at AEGON USA for seventeen years, most recently as the head of the Capital Market Strategies Group at AEGON USA Investment Management LLC, where he focused on alternative investments, SBA loans, and special opportunities. Previously, he was a partner at Cleveland Management; and earlier in his career, Mr. Cook was the Director of fixed income at United Capital Management. Mr. Cook holds a B.A. degree from the University of Denver and an M.B.A. from DePaul University. Mr. Cook is also a CFA Charterholder.

-David L. Harris, of Nicholasville, serves as a Sr. Partner and Shareholder of MCF Advisors, LLC, a Kentucky based comprehensive financial services firm and is a Registered Investment Advisor with the Securities Exchange Commission. MCF manages $1.2 billion of client assets within their four operating divisions (Institutional Investment Group; Retirement Plan Advisory Group; Private Client Group; Wealth Builders Group). Dave studied Agriculture Finance (1976-1980) at the University of Illinois. He then began his financial services career as a commodity trader on the Chicago Exchanges. In 1985, he became Vice President of Integrated Resource, Inc., an investment banking firm in New York City. He continued on to found MidSouth Capital Asset Management, LLC. in 1989, serving as the CEO until which time the company was acquired by Central Bank in 2000. At this time, Dave served as Executive Vice President of Central Bank & Trust Co. After three years, Dave joined MCF Advisors, LLC as a Partner.

-Neil P. Ramsey, of Louisville, founded the business of Ramsey Financial, Inc., the parent company of RQSI, in 1986. He is responsible for the leadership of quantitative strategies development and providing strategic direction for RQSI. He is also responsible for directing all external investments for the firm including allocations to the real estate sector, both domestically and internationally. Prior to forming these entities, Mr. Ramsey was a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group where he worked with both domestic and foreign multi-nationals in developing corporate strategies. Neil received his B.S. in Engineering from Vanderbilt University, Summa Cum Laude. Neil also received his M.B.A. from Vanderbilt University.

-John E. Chilton, of Louisville, currently serves as the State Budget Director for Gov. Matt Bevin. Chilton has more than 40 years of experience as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) serving large and small private businesses. He is co-founder of Mountjoy Chilton Medley LLP, a regional accounting firm with nearly 300 professionals in Louisville, Lexington, Cincinnati and Jeffersonville. His focus has been on domestic and international income and other taxes, and also on business valuation, business acquisition, disposition and reorganization. He has served as an advisor and expert witness in client legal matters. Chilton graduated with a B.S. in Accounting with focus in Management Science from the University of Tennessee. His credentials include CPA, Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV), and Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA).

As a result of this reorganization, the seventeen members of the Board are: Mr. Cook, Mr. Harris, Mr. Ramsey, Mr. Chilton, Mr. Farris, Mr. Eager, Mark W. Lattis, James A. Fulkerson, Randy K. Stevens, Joseph L. Hardesty, and Thomas B. Stephens, Secretary of the State Personnel Cabinet, along with six members designated by the County Employees Retirement System, the State Police Retirement System and the Kentucky Employee Retirement System.

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