Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Funding Commission Paid Morgan Stanley Smith Barney $510,000 for Financial Advice, Says Auditor

State auditor Crit Luallen is accusing the Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Funding Commission of breaking the law when, rather than seeking financial advice from the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet’s Office of Fiscal Management, it paid Morgan Stanley Smith Barney for private financial advice. Luallen contends that the workers’ compensation agency has paid the broker-dealer about $510,000 for help received in making investments since 1999. The funding commission’s board has accepted the audit’s findings and it will only work with state-employed advisers from now on.

The Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Funding Commission oversees over $350 million in assets. It collects over $70 million annually from assessments on employers’ workers’ compensation premiums. The funding commission’s investments suffered $71 million in lost investments during the fiscal years of 2009 and 2008.

There has been no evidence that there were any conflicts of interest between Morgan Stanley and the funding commission. The broker-dealer is defending its handling of the agency’s investments. Morgan Stanley senior vice president Frank Thompson says the firm did an “outstanding job” and that it strongly recommended that the funding commission not work with the state’s OFM, which it said proposed poor investments.

Related Web Resources:
Agency ignored law, spent $510,000 on financial advice, Kentucky.com, February 20, 2011

Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Panel Criticized Over Outside Adviser, Insurance Journal, February 22, 2011

Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Funding

Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet’s Office of Fiscal Management

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