Museum boss linked to placement agent scandal resigns

Bill White, president of New York City’s Entrepid museum, has reportedly stepped down. The New York Attorney General's office had subpoenaed White’s firm about fees it received from City Investment Fund, the real estate investment platform established by affiliates of Fisher Brothers and Morgan Stanley Real Estate.

Longtime president of New York’s Intrepid Museum, Bill White, has resigned unexpectedly after 18 years, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

White’s firm, Bill White & Associates, is reportedly being investigated by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo over $2 million worth of placement agent fees his firm allegedly received from real estate investment vehicle City Investment Fund. The City Investment Fund, which targets real estate in New York, was established by affiliates of Fisher Brothers and Morgan Stanley Real Estate in 2004, according to the company Web site.

A spokesperson for City Investment Fund was not available for comment at press time.

The report claimed Bill White & Associates was subpoenaed by Cuomo in May 2009 after it was discovered the company had been operating as an unlicensed placement agent for pension funds. A spokesperson from Cuomo’s office was not immediately available for comment. It is unclear whether White’s resignation is linked to the ongoing investigation.

White’s name first emerged in connection with Cuomo’s state pension fund probe in 2007, when investigators were trying to determine if White had solicited campaign contributions for former state comptroller Alan Hevesi from Guggenheim Advisors, a branch of the Bank of Ireland, in exchange for management rights of $447 million in New York state pension funds, according to the New York Post.

A spokesperson from White’s office could not be reached, but White told the New York Times on Wednesday he had resigned to pursue another job, which he declined to identify to the Times.

White serves as a Trustee of the Fisher House Foundation, which builds comfort homes at military and veterans hospitals in which patients’ families can stay, and has raised $24 million for the construction of Fisher Houses, according to the Intrepid Museum Web site. He also manages fundraising and business development for the Intrepid Museum and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.