CERS Approves CEO, General Counsel Contracts

The County Employees Retirement System (CERS) Board of Trustees approved a contract for their newly hired CEO. Trustees also clarified their vote to hire Johnson, Bowman, Branco, LLP law firm to fulfill the general counsel role. Dr. Patricia Carver rephrased her motion to hire the firm and not just one of the firm’s lawyers, Joseph “Joe” Bowman, as suggested during the initial vote on June 24.

Ed Owens will earn $124,800 annually as CEO. The contract began July 1 and runs through June 20, 2023. Owens is the first CEO to solely focus on CERS since legislators passed House Bill 484 in the 2020 session. The KLC initiative established independent governance of CERS within one administrative structure, known as the Kentucky Public Pensions Authority (KPPA).

The Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS) Board of Trustees continues to manage the Kentucky Employees Retirement System (KERS) and State Police Retirement System (SPRS). Legislators passed phase two of CERS separation in House Bill 9 in the 2021 session. The KLC initiative created separate statutory structures for the two pension systems.

Johnson, Bowman, Branco, LLP agreed to a one-year contract that will run through June 30, 2022. The firm will provide general counsel services for CERS as needed. The fee schedule includes attorney fees at $175 per hour and paralegal fees at $50 per hour.

The CERS Investment Committee also heard ideas for new CERS investment procurement policies. While the trustees did not vote on anything discussed, they expect to hear more in August when they consider adopting new policies.

Click here to read the contract with CERS CEO Ed Owens.

Click here to read the contract with Johnson, Bowman, Branco, LLP.