A set of bills intended to better monitor hedge funds and casino institutional investors, including those involved with Revel, was released by an Assembly committee Monday.
The Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee approved three bills.
The first would cap at 35 percent the share of state public employee pension and annuity funds invested in hedge funds and other alternative assets. The legislation was in response to a newspaper report of a hedge fund’s financial stake to Revel. The hedge fund manages $200 million in New Jersey public pension money, according to The Star-Ledger, which first reported on the ties.
Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, D-Essex, said the returns from the public pension were lower than expected, and the legislation would help alleviate concerns about how much money would be invested in alternative assets.
“The latest report is it’s way below 8 percent,” he said of returns.
The two other bills would limit political contributions by hedge funds that invest in casinos and require potentially more casino institutional investors to provide information and documentation to regulators.
Assemblyman John Amodeo, R-Atlantic, who was the only member of the committee to vote against all three bills, said he believed the proposals were unnecessary.
The State Investment Council already caps pension fund investments in hedge funds and alternative assets at 38 percent, Amodeo said.
“Why would you lower it to 35 percent?” he asked. “We had State Council set that at 38.”
Amodeo said the other bills would scare off casino investors unnecessary by adding more regulations.
“We are just hurting economic development and the ability to create jobs,” he said.
Caputo and bill co-sponsor, Assemblyman Ruben Ramos, D-Hudson, said in a statement the measures place additional safeguards on the handling of public funds. Lowering the share of pension funds invested in hedge funds was “common sense,” they said.
“It’s just common sense to vary how you invest and have limitations on how much you can invest in one asset,” Ramos said.
Fellow committee members, Assemblyman John Burzichelli, D-Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem, and Assemblyman Ronald Dancer, D-Ocean, Burlington, Middlesex and Monmouth, also voted for the legislation.
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