In May, Jack Marco, co-founder of Chicago-based Marco Consulting Group, was elected to the board of trustees of the National Labor College. That appointment shows how much respect organized labor has for independent investment consultant Marco, 67, whose firm specializes in multiemployer, or Taft-Hartley, pension plans. The Illinois native co-founded MCG in 1988; it now has $146 billion in assets under advisement and represents more than 330 defined benefit plans. Before becoming a consultant Marco worked as a high school math teacher and as chief of staff for Democratic Illinois congressman Abner Mikva, a former labor lawyer. Marco says he focused on the $637 billion Taft-Hartley pension world because like his first love, politics, the work would allow him to accomplish things and help people. The Taft-Hartley structure is probably the best structure of any out there in the industry because theres an equal number of labor and management at the table, so no one gets an advantage, he explains. But Marco worries about the future of multiemployer plans. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 created big problems by calling for full funding of liabilities on short investment horizons inadequate for proper long-term planning, he says. With the act set to expire in 2014, Marco is excited about the possibility of legislative changes. In January he stepped down as CEO of MCG, though he remains chairman.
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