According to a complaint filed by U.S. prosecutors earlier today, Navnoor Kang, the former Director of Fixed Income and Head Portfolio Strategist at the New York State Common Retirement Fund, steered $2 billion worth of allocations to two "preferred brokers" in exchange for $100,000 worth of bribes in the form of the universal currency of "hookers and blow."
According to NBC, from 2014 to 2016 Kang received bribes "in the form of entertainment, travel, lavish meals, prostitutes, nightclub bottle service, narcotics, luxury gifts, and cash payments, among other things" from Deborah Kelley, of Sterne Agee, and Gregg Schonhorn. Kang faces charges of securities fraud and wire fraud.
In a statement to CNN, the New York State Common Retirement Fund said it has "absolutely no tolerance for self-dealing" and fired Kang in February when it learned of his "misconduct."
"We are outraged by Mr. Kang's shocking betrayal of his responsibilities," the fund said, adding that Kang was dismissed in February and it worked with law enforcement once the misconduct was uncovered by authorities.
Sure enough, a quick search of Kang's LinkedIn account reveals that he left the NY Pension in February 2016, after spending 2 years and 2 months collecting substantial bribes. Prior to the NY Pension, Kang spent time at Guggenheim and PIMCO just after spending 2 years as professional tennis player.
According to his bio, Kang "outperformed his peers year after year because of his astute investment strategies and sound judgment for value"...while that could be interpreted as a veiled reference to "hookers and blow" we can't be certain at this juncture.
Navnoor is a seasoned portfolio manager and macroeconomic strategist who has built and managed fixed income portfolios across various investor objectives in both the private and public sectors. He has outperformed his peers year after year because of his astute investment strategies and sound judgment for value.
Most recently, Navnoor was the Director of Fixed Income and the Head of Portfolio Strategy for the New York State Common Retirement Fund which is the third largest public plan in the country with over $185bn in assets. He was directly responsible for investing over $55bn in fixed income assets with a focus on credit products and for creating the macroeconomic framework for asset allocation for the entire $185bn fund. Earlier, Navnoor was co-head of investment grade corporate credit at Guggenheim Partners Asset Management and an associate portfolio manager for corporate credit at Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO). He began his career as an analyst at Goldman Sachs in the credit default swap trading team.
In another avatar, Navnoor spent three years competing on the men’s professional tennis tour. He holds a degree in economics from Columbia University.
And that, folks, is how the brilliant minds of wall street manage to consistently underperform the broader markets year after year.