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Rating:TIAA-CREF Trustee Resigns over E&Y Ties Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, March 04, 2005

TIAA-CREF Trustee Resigns over E&Y Ties

by: Theresa Sim

Another TIAA-CREF trustee is leaving his post for a past relationship with the company's past auditor, Ernst & Young.

During a search for a new auditor last month, Professor Martin J. Gruber, trustee of the College Retirement Equities Fund and the TIAA-CREF Funds, notified the boards and committees undertaking the search that he entered into a contract with Ernst & Young in 1999.

Gruber was to participate in an Ernst & Young program to organize conferences based on participants' academic specialties. The program was ended before it was launched and Gruber's contract ended in 2000.

According to a news release, the boards and committees determined that there was no wrongdoing on Gruber's part, but he has decided to step down, regardless.

The move was likely preemptive. TIAA-CREF is already in hot water for two other trustees and their relationship with Ernst & Young. The trustees, William Waltrip and Stephen Ross, resigned in November 2004 after Ernst & Young discovered information about a joint venture between the company and the trustees. In December, TIAA-CREF disclosed that the SEC had begun an informal investigation over the Ernst & Young relationship.

TIAA-CREF also announced on Thursday that it had selected PricewaterhouseCoopers as its new independent auditor.

Gruber is a banking and finance professor at New York University and the author of many papers on the mutual fund and 401(k) industry. 

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