Christie Vetoes Investment Bill Requiring Manager Fee Disclosure

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie sent back to lawmakers a bill that would require the State Investment Council to disclose quarterly the individual fees paid to private firms overseeing pension money.

Christie, a second-term Republican who may run for president, used what is known as a conditional veto, allowing him to rewrite the measure and send it back to lawmakers to concur with his changes. The governor struck the portion of the Democratic measure that required the agency to report each manager’s fees quarterly and instead proposed doing so annually.

“The disclosure of fees on a quarterly basis will lead to confusion because not all of the fee schedules are structured in the same manner,” Christie said in a veto message on Monday. “This simple change will prevent the chilling effect the original bill would have had on New Jersey’s ability to select the best fund managers, but also provide the clarity and transparency the sponsors seek.”

Christie said requiring the fund to disclose all details of payments could lead to “suboptimal returns” and cause some top managers to cut ties with New Jersey’s $77 billion pension fund. Christie also cut out another section of the bill prohibiting the pension from donating to federal and non-state political action committees, saying current federal regulations trump state law.

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