Friday, May 1, 2009

Wetherly Pension Scandal: LA Daily Blog Reader Weighs In

[Pictured: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa breaks the bad news to community members at a recent Town Hall meeting on the budget crisis. Here he may be informing the crowd that his pension appointees lost $7 billion last year and are now being investigated by the SEC.]

To: Zuma Dogg

Fr: LA Daily Blog Reader

Dogg, Take a look at the attached. Ziman is claiming he doesn't own any of the company or have anything to do with it. He started the company and swaps out money between a broker dealer called DAV Wetherly and Whetherly Capital because he doesn't have a broker dealers license.

THE REAL BRAINS AND BRAWN BEHIND WETHERLY

Wetherly Capital and its owners Dan Weinstein and Vicki Schiff are deeply embroiled in the New York, New Mexico, Los Angeles, and possibly nationwide pension fund scandal involving placement agents. The New York and Federal indictments state that Wetherly shared placement fees with indicted Hank Morris around the country including, New Mexico and Los Angeles.

Although only listed as a technical advisor on the website, the brains, brawn and political influence behind Wetherly is Los Angeles real estate magnate Richard Ziman. Ziman is a co-founder and co-owner of Wetherly Capital. Ziman together with Weinstein have, for many years, donated and bundled large amounts of campaign contributions and have close relationship with top elected officials across the Country, including, the Clintons, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, Former California Governor Gray Davis, former California Controller Steve Westly, California Attorney General Jerry Brown, disgraced New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, former California Treasurer Phil Angelides, Mayor Villagrosa, and many others. Daphna and Richard Ziman open their Beverly Hills mansion countless times a year for political candidates, many of whom wield power and influence critical to Wetherly’s success as a placement agent.

Ziman also co-founded Arden Real Estate. Arden was one of the largest Southern California office building REITS before it was sold to GE Capital in 2007. After disposing of Arden, Ziman founded, with Vicki Schiff of Wetherly, American Value Partners a real estate fund of funds. Ziman, Weinstein and Schiff used their political influence and their Wetherly platform to raise several hundred million dollars from public pension funds around the country.

Wetherly counts among its significant clients the following:

  1. Arthur Levine and his partner Lauren Leichtman of Levine-Leichtman Capital Partners;

  2. Henry Cisnero of City View;

  3. Tony Ressler and John Kissick of Ares Capital;

  4. Tony Ressler’s brother, Richard Ressler of CIM;

  5. Roy Disney and Stanley Gold Shamrock; and,

  6. Brad Freeman, US Ambassador Ron Spogli and William Wardlaw of Freeman & Spogli.

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