An NYC Dem Tries to Sick the SEC on OpFunds, Calls Out Steinmetz
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Monday, May 09, 2016

An NYC Dem Tries to Sick the SEC on OpFunds, Calls Out Steinmetz

An Empire State politician is calling for regulators to go after OppenheimerFunds [profile] over its investments in Puerto Rican government debt.

Melissa Mark-Viverito

District 8 - Council Speaker - Democrat
Politico and Bloomberg report that Melissa Mark-Viverito (Democrat), speaker of New York City's City Council, sent a letter to SEC Chair Mary Jo White calling on the regulatory agency to investigate New York City-based OpFunds' handling of its municipal bond mutual funds' Puerto Rican government bond investments. OpFunds' funds held about $3.8 billion in Puerto Rican commonwealth debt at the end of 2015.

In the letter, Mark-Viverito calls out OpFunds CEO Art Steinmetz, accusing him of declining to meet with her about "the current crisis faced by Puerto Rico." Bloomberg reports that the commonwealth have $2 billion in payments due on July 1 and $70 billion in outstanding debt; its Government Development Bank defaulted on about $400 million in debt payments on May 2.

Art Steinmetz
Oppenheimer Funds
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, President
Mark-Viverito, who lays claim to being "the first Puetro Rican and Latina to hold a citywide elected position" in the Big Apple, is pushing back against OpFunds' opposition to Puerto Rico filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.

"We continue to work constructively with all parties involved in an effort to try to reach an equitable agreement," an OpFunds spokeswoman tells Bloomberg. "Throughout Puerto Rico's recent economic difficulties we have also been fully transparent with our investors."

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