California pension eager to finally sell BushmasterApril 29, 2014: 7:55 AM ET
California teachers are still owners of the gun maker used in the Sandy Hook massacre, and the man who invests their money isn't pleased about it.
"It's absolutely frustrating," said Christopher Ailman, chief investment officer for the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS), when speaking to CNNMoney on the sidelines of the Milken Institute's Global Conference in Los Angeles Monday. "I continue to be disappointed every month it goes on."
CalSTRS, which manages the pensions of California public school teachers, came under fire in late 2012 after it was revealed that it had an investment with private equity firm Cerberus Capital in the Freedom Group. The Freedom Group owns Bushmaster, maker of the rifle used in the shooting at the school in Newtown, Connecticut that killed 20 children and six adults.
Cerberus has been shopping for a buyer for the Freedom Group, but selling the company has not been easy.
Various plans have also been floated that would allow CalSTRS to liquidate its investment in the Freedom Group, but none have come to fruition. Selling its overall stake in Cerberus, for example, is a lengthy process and could result in a significant loss for the pension fund.
So when does Ailman think CalSTRS will finally get the Freedom Group off its books, as it vowed to do in December 2012?
"My hope was last summer," he said.
While Ailman thinks Cerberus has made a genuine effort to sell the gunmaker, the process has taken much longer than he expected.
"We're pushing on their door constantly, in their ear, talking on a regular basis," he said.