Auto rescue chief's firm faces questions

April 22, 2009 at 9:49 AM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, April 22 (UPI) -- A U.S. investment firm run by Steven Rattner, who heads the White House's efforts to rescue the auto industry, is struggling for its future, observers say.

The firm, the Quadrangle Group, is trying to calm worried pension fund managers who have entrusted Rattner with hundreds of millions of dollars as questions emerge about his efforts to gain business from several other public pension funds, including ones in New Mexico and New York City, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Unnamed sources told the newspaper Quadrangle's customers will decide this week whether to withhold additional money they have pledged, citing Rattner's decision to leave the fund and move to Washington to head U.S. President Barack Obama's efforts to rescue the struggling U.S. auto industry.

The Times said if Quadrangle's investors balk, the level of fees it collects annually would fall from $35 million to about $19 million and it would lose its ability to make investments in new companies.

Quadrangle and other private equity funds, such as the Carlyle Group, were named in a Securities Exchange Commission complaint last week that detailed a three-year investigation into corruption in New York state's pension plan.

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