Clay Gets Nod for Permanent Post

Jeffrey Clay, who has served as interim executive director of the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) since June when then executive director Dale Everhart resigned, was unanimously recommended for the position of executive director of the $44 billion pension fund.

Previously, Clay was deputy executive director of PSERS and served as chief legal counsel for PSERS and the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System.

He was also chief counsel for the Keystone State’s qualified deferred compensation plan. Earlier in his career, Clay served as a law clerk and as an attorney specializing in real estate and appellate litigation with McNees Wallace & Nurick.

But much of the last several months has been spent in an ongoing political and legal battle with Pennsylvania Auditor General Robert Casey Jr. Casey asked Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court to declare that his office has the authority to audit PSERS and the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System.

For his efforts on the matter, the Personnel Committee of PSERS last week recommended Clay to become permanent executive director of the fund. A PSERS spokeswoman said Clay was not available for comment since he had not yet been confirmed for the job.

The PSERS board is scheduled to confirm Clay at its Oct. 31 meeting.

When Everhart retired to relocate with his family in Florida, he ranked as the 17th highest-paid Pennsylvania state employee, earning $162,000 per year. Clay ranked 35th in his deputy post at a salary of $137,000.

The search for a new director attracted some 140 applicants.

Weddle Withdraws

Steven Weddle has withdrawn his name from consideration to be the next executive director of the $29 billion Massachusetts state pension system (MassPRIM).

Weddle had been the handpicked choice of State Treasurer Tim Cahill, who fired previous executive director James Hearty earlier this year in part because Hearty reportedly opposed disclosing private equity performance data to the public.

Weddle’s withdrawal is viewed as a major political loss for Cahill, but a victory for Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who had called for a national search process that had been absent in the Weddle selection.

Weddle, a onetime venture capitalist, had made his name in South Africa, but he was a virtual unknown in the Bay State when Cahill named him. Cahill gave up the fight last week when he acknowledged that headhunters would, indeed, be called in.

Gruener’s Tally

Venture capitalist Garrett Gruener withdrew his name from the California recall ballot after spending $1 million of his own money on the campaign.

But the Ask Jeeves founder and Alta Partners managing director still managed to pull in some votes since his name remained on the Oct. 7 recall ballot.

He placed 29th, out of 135, garnering 2,179 votes. This is just 83 votes behind 28th place finisher and billboard pinup Angelyne and a mere 3.74 million votes behind Arnold Schwarzenegger.

We doubt this will be our final word on the Califonria recall. But we want to add just one more thought.

We wish we could be a fly on the wall over at Kleiner Perkins in Menlo park, Calif.

Firm partner John Doerr reportedly gave $50,000 to Gov. Gray Davis’s and Lt. Gov Cruz Bustamante’s anti-recall committees.

Meanwhile, his colleague and former Oracle exec Ray Lane has served as an economic advisor to Schwarzenegger.The goings on at KP give “office politics” a whole new meaning.

Deutsche Bank’s Hiring Frenzy

Deutsche Bank decimated its U.S. investment banking group two years ago during the deflation of the Internet boom and losses at its parent company.

But it has signaled its return to investment banking and technology with its Oct. 6 announcement of the addition of 12 senior banking professionals taken from several competing banks such as Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley.

Among those switching teams is James Stynes, who joins Deutsche Bank as managing director from Morgan Stanley, where he spent the last 20 years; David Pearson also joins in the position of managing director to jointly oversee the firm’s telecommunications practice; Ed Dunn, who has spent the last five years at Merrill Lynch; William Addas, is leaving Credit Suisse First Boston, to join Deutsche Bank to head the specialty finance investment group; Brian Moon, who was previously at Morgan Stanley, also joins the finance group as a director; and Greg Sorenson joins the firm as a managing director in the health care investment group from Bank of America.

Senior executives at Deutsche Bank say the most recent 12 hires precede another similar number to be announced shortly for Deutsche’s Equity Capital Markets group.