February 22, 2011
I serve as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Non-Uniformed Employees Pension Fund (the "Fund") for the City of Ladue, Missouri ("Ladue"). I was appointed to serve in this capacity in 2009 by the City Council of Ladue, whose members are elected officials of the city. Ladue also has a pension fund for uniformed employees (the "Uniformed Fund") with a separate Board of Trustees. Although I do not serve as a trustee of the Uniformed Fund, because the Fund and the Uniformed Fund are invested substantially identically, my role with the Fund has a bearing on the Uniformed Fund as well. The Fund had approximately $3.3 million in assets as of 12/31/10 and a related fund for the uniformed employees of Ladue (the "Uniformed Fund") had approximately $22 million in assets as of 12/31/10.
I receive no compensation for this position, and have no direct or indirect economic interest in the Fund or the Uniformed Fund other than as a taxpayer residing in Ladue. Serving as a trustee advances no political or career-related purpose for me.
I understand that proposed SEC Rule 34-63576 would cause a person in my capacity for the City of Ladue to be a "municipal financial advisor" required to meet certain federal registration, disclosure and fee requirements.
I would ask the SEC to consider that trustees of a public pension fund are already subject to well-defined legal standards of conduct as fiduciaries under applicable law. Trustees are not advisors under any ordinary construction of that term. Rather boards of trustees serve the underlying trust beneficiaries as fiduciaries. They engage advisors, but are themselves subject to a different (and generally very high) standard of conduct not applicable to most advisors.
Conversely, if proposed Rule 34-63576 is imposed in its current form, I will have to resign my position as the only practicable way to achieve compliance. Maintaining registration as a "municipal financial advisor" cannot reasonably be expected to be a viable option for a person whose motivation to serve on a pension fund board is solely to fulfill a sense of duty as a citizen. On the contrary, I urge you to consider that proposed SEC Rule 34-63576 in its current form would have the effect of deterring anyone from serving in such a capacity other than elected officials or those who have a pecuniary, political or career advantage to be gained.
Wesley McAfee Jones
Sage Capital LLC