Pay-to-play defendant resurfaces as FoF manager

Marcellus Taylor, a former partner at Aldus Equity Partners and a defendant in the pay-to-play scandal involving New York State Common Retirement Fund, has acquired United Investment Managers, a Chicago-based fund-of-funds that invests in emerging managers.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The firm has more than $300 million under management, courtesy of six public pension clients, including the Public School Teachers’ Pension & Retirement Fund of Chicago, Municipal Employees Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago and Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority.

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli filed suit in May against advisory firm Aldus Equity, its principals and others for wrongful conduct, including fraud, bribery, breach of contract and conspiracy. Aldus Equity principals named as defendants include Taylor, Saul Meyer, Matthew O’Reilly and others. Taylor resigned from Aldus Equity in January 2009.

In an email, a spokesperson for Taylor said: “The case is in the process of being stayed.”

The spokesperson did not respond to requests for clarification.

Founded in 2001, United Investment Managers is an emerging manager platform with investment capabilities in domestic equities, real estate and alternative assets with eight employees and 28 emerging manager partners.

Larry Gray sold his 90% interest in the firm to Taylor, with the remaining ownership redistributed to current investment staff, including Cheryl Hua and Yolanda Waggoner, who were both promoted to senior vice presidents, and Thomas Zimmerman, who was promoted to chief operating officer. —Nancy Gordon