Another Pension Has PAAMCo Questions

Nov 3 2010 | 2:54am ET

The hits keep coming for Pacific Alternative Asset Management.

The fund of hedge funds, which is under investigation for potentially misleading investors and others about its woman-owned status, has already lost one mandate as a result of the probe and had itself put on watch by another public pension fund. Now, from across the pond, yet another pension fund might be getting cold feet.

Liverpool's Merseyside Pension Fund has postponed PAAMCo's hire, just four months after approving it for a £25 million mandate, Pensions & Investments reports.

The PAAMCo hire is subject to further due diligence currently being undertaken by the pension. Merseyside's staff are looking into the very same ownership question at the heart of a recent court case and the SEC probe.

In August, a judge award Paloma Partners' S. Donald Sussman a 40% stake in PAAMCo's parent company. Sussman had backed the firm and received PAAMCO convertible bonds for his troubles, an arrangement that U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan said "may have been designed to mislead."

PAAMCo's Stephen Oxley told P&I that the Merseyside issue had nothing to do with the SEC probe or the Sussman case.

"The further due diligence being conducted by Merseyside has been scheduled for some time and is not directly connected with recent developments," he said.

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