New Mexico pension exec draws loan scrutiny

Bruce Malott, a board member with New Mexico's Educational Retirement Board, took a personal loan from the father of a placement agent doing business with the pension.

New Mexico Educational Retirement Board chairman Bruce Marlott has stepped down effective immediately, according to $8.5 billion pension fund’s website.

Malott resigned Wednesday after receiving questions about a $350,000 loan he received from Anthony Correra, according to a report in the Albuquerque Journal. Correra’s son, Marc Correra, is a placement agent that did business with New Mexico ERB and the $13 billion New Mexico State Investment Council.

Malott admitted to Albuquerque Journal reporters that he borrowed money from Correra in 2006 to pay federal and state taxes.

Malott told the newspaper he didn’t know that Marc Correra had been getting fees paid by companies that landed investment deals with the New Mexico ERB. He said he asked Anthony Correra because of their friendship.

Malott could not be reached for comment by press time.

The board’s vice chairman, Mary Lou Cameron, will serve as chairman until board elections at a meeting later this month, according to the fund’s website.

This leaves one vacancy on the fund’s seven member board. Governor Bill Richardson will appoint a new member to the board shortly.

Malott served on the board since 1999 and had been chairman since 2004. He was responsible for leading the fund's board, coordinating the board with the fund's investment function and for overseeing all board member committee appointments.

Malott is the managing principal and a founding partner of Meyners + Company, a public accounting firm.

The New Mexico State Investment Council, the state's oil and gas endowment, has been embroiled in a wide-ranging pay-to-play scandal.

The SIC's former private equity advisor, Saul Meyer, head of Aldus Equity, pleaded guilty last fall to charges related to a pay-to-play scandal that spread from New York to New Mexico.

Meyer was alleged to have “ensured that Aldus recommended proposed investments that were pushed on him by politically connected individuals in New Mexico”, according to the complaint filed by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

SIC’s chief investment officer, Gary Bland, resigned last fall for undisclosed reasons.

Last year, SIC was one of the first public pensions to publish a list of placement agents hired by private equity managers.