The whopping 37 percent raise awarded to South Carolina’s top investment officer is “irresponsible and unacceptable,” says a spokesman for Republican Gov. Nikki Haley.
|Gov. Nikki Haley
“The governor has made her appointee abundantly clear that she feels this way, and that it is not to happen again,” Rob Godfrey, Haley’s spokesman, told The State
The South Carolina Retirement Investment Commission voted in July to approve the raise from $353,500 to $485,000 for Robert Borden, the state’s top investment officer, The State reported today. The board’s rationale was that it wanted to prevent him from being lured to Virginia, which had tried to hire him for its state retirement system.
Many who work with Borden said he is worth every penny for guiding the state retirement fund in difficult times.
“The fund was worth $25.9 billion when Borden took it over in 2006,” The State reported. “It’s now worth $26.1 billion, according to the latest quarterly report. It reached a high of $28.5 billion in 2007 and a low of $21 billion in 2009 following the housing market crash.”
“But in the past year, the fund grew by $3.2 billion. That’s despite the fact that lawmakers began 2010 with a sizable deficit.”
Even so, State Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom criticized the raise as “extreme.”
“Other state employees haven’t received raises in a few years,” he told The State. “And raises of that magnitude are just absolutely unheard of.”
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