Retirement System ends Pine St. ties

The New Hampshire Retirement System’s board of trustees voted yesterday to end an $8 million investment with Pine Street Advisors, one of the funds that its former chairman, – Edward Theobald, had financial dealings with.

The reason for ending the investment, according to discussion at the meeting, had nothing to do with Theobald’s relation to the company. Rather it was because the board was frustrated by the company’s new owners — CRT Capital Group LLC of Stamford, Conn. – who members said would not meet with the board in a timely fashion.

Some concern also was express over the failure for the company to adequately separate distribution and management of the fund, which could result in some conflicts of interests.

“We hired Pine Street. We didn’t hire CRT. We had a whole month to schedule a meeting, and they aren’t here. I’m not averse to pulling the plug,” said trustee Joseph Morris.

The board voted unanimously to do just that.

Theobald’s firm, Maiden Lane Partners, had signed a three-way deal to market Pine Street investments for as much as $15,000 a month.

The board approved its own Pine Street deal, but later criticized Theobald for voting to invest in another company – Hermes Technology – which he had previously considered investing in. He was subsequently ousted from that position by the Governor and executive council.

There was no discussion of Theobald’s dealings when the board voted yesterday to end the Pine Street investment.

New Hampshire Business Review and New Hampshire Public Radio have subsequently reported that Theobald regularly did business with groups that appeared in front of the board. (See “Ex-chairman’s deals overlapped Retirement Board investments.”) – BOB SANDERS

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