Minnesota government's $65 billion man heads for retirement, and search for successor is on

  • Article by: BRIAN BAKST , Associated Press
  • Updated: August 5, 2013 - 11:36 AM

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Wanted: Prudent, investment-savvy individual to manage $65 billion in state assets. Decisions scrutinized by top Minnesota leaders. Results affect pension accounts for thousands of retired public workers.

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summerguy3Aug. 4, 13 7:08 PM

My thanks to Mr. Bicker for doing a good job. Sticking by your guns and investing prudently have allowed us retired state employees to breath easier, and caused us to not be a burden on others. Again, our appreciation.

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juliethrillAug. 4, 13 8:18 PM

Bicker seems like a nice, careful guy. But since 1980 stocks returned 11% and bonds about 9%, which according to the story was what the state invested in before he got going. Since then he started paying fancy advisers and buying exotic investments. All that smarts got him (us) to 10% (assuming that rate accounts for all of his new costs). What we need is someone smart enough to fire everybody and buy a handful of low-fee Vanguard indexed funds. It will take someone with real courage and about 10 minutes a week to spare.

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fwallenAug. 5, 13 4:12 AM

Howard Bicker has done a wonderful job of overseeing a state agency that both protects the states resources and increases it's value. He has done this with prudence and integrity. The article did not mention former governor Arne Carlson, but as State Auditor he was largely responsible for creating the current system that Bicker has managed. Before the system was changed and Bicker put in charge the state was getting returns in low single digits. Now it is performing extremely well Especially when considering the constraints under which it must operate.

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kamkamAug. 5, 13 6:21 AM

Why do we need to do a search for a viable candidate? Surely someone Bicker has worked with in his many years at the top has been groomed to take over...

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buckyharleyAug. 5, 13 7:23 AM

Howard Bicker is one of the best in the country. We in Minnesota have been so fortunate to have hime choose public service over private greed. He has done a fantastic job for both taxpayers and public employees.

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honeybooAug. 5, 13 7:52 AM

Why do state taxpayers need to cover shortfalls for Minneapolis police and fire pension funds? Who is running those funds? I work in the private sector - why do I need to work later into retirement so public employees can have a comfortable retirement?

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redblack30Aug. 5, 13 1:44 PM

I agree people in the private sector deserve pensions also. They need to take action politically and through collective bargaining, instead of letting the value of their contribution go disproportionatly to the owners.

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JP55901Aug. 5, 13 1:56 PM

@honey... get a government job if you think the private sector pensions are so bad. There, problem solved.

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