Kansas regulators raise concerns about hedge funds and Evergy

Consumer advocates say Evergy's ties to hedge funds could influence the electric utility. The Kansas Corporation Commission said it has concerns.

By

State News

November 26, 2021 - 10:18 AM

Evergy headquarters in downtown Topeka. Consumer advocates want more disclosure about its relationship with two hedge funds the nonprofit believes are exerting influence. Photo by (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Four of the five members on Evergy’s finance committee, tasked with recommending management and investment decisions to the board of directors, were selected by activist hedge funds that critics worry are asserting undue influence over the electric utility.

That involvement, consumer advocates say, could drive up rates for Evergy’s 1.6 million customers in Kansas and Missouri to satisfy the hedge funds’ desire for a return on their investment.

“These are not nice guys — they’re thugs,” said Tyson Slocum, energy program director for the nonprofit Public Citizen. “And they have a business model that is structured to intentionally evade regulatory oversight, and we think that’s a problem.”

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