Sunday, January 23, 2022

Maximus, Student Loan Debt, and the Poverty Industrial Complex

The Higher Education Inquirer is taking a close look at who's invested in Maximus, the enormous social welfare profiteer. Maximus has been servicing student loan defaulters for years and has now taken over Navient's federal student loan business, branding it Aidvantage

Since 1995, Maximus (MMS) has grown from $50 million in annual revenues to more than $4 billion in 2021. 

Maximus (MMS) Share Price 1995-2022
(Source: Seeking Alpha) 

With an army of more than 35,000 workers, Maximus' clients include 28 US agencies: the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Bureau of the Census, Patent and Trademark Office, Federal Student Aid, Department of Defense and US Army, Department of Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Medicare and Medicaid, Department of Labor, Office of Personnel Management, Securities and Exchange Commission and many more. 

As a contractor to Federal Student Aid (FSA), Maximus has more than 13 million student loans to service.  Its four contracts with the US Department of Education total almost $1 Billion.  

While CEO Bruce Caswell made more than $6 million in total compensation last year, Maximus' customer service representatives, the people who have to make the calls to the growing number of student loan defaulters, make less money than workers at Walmart. 

Maximus has recently posted federally contracted jobs on Indeed for $13.15 an hour in Texas and South Carolina, even though the federal minimum wage has been raised to $15 an hour. Wages for Maximus workers in other states are reportedly even lower, as little as $10 an hour in Kentucky and other states with regressive economies.   

Maximus' largest institutional investors include BlackRockVanguard Group, and State Street Corp--three financial behemoths.  BlackRock has $10 trillion in Assets Under Management (AUM), Vanguard Group has about $7 Trillion in Assets Under Management, and State Street has almost $4 Trillion in AUM. 

Bank of New York Mellon, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America each own 900,000 shares or more. 

Public retirement funds, including public school teachers retirement funds (see table below), are directly and indirectly invested in the Poverty Industrial Complex and the student loan mess through Maximus and other large corporations. 


Maximus' strategic partners include AWS, Microsoft, Oracle, and Cisco.  

Social justice advocates have to wonder, how can the student loan system be fixed if the US establishment has a vested interested in the mess?  
 
Maximus (MMS) Top Institutional Investors 



List of Public Funds Directly Invested in Maximus

Alaska Department of Revenue 
California PERS
California State Teachers Retirement System
Colorado PERS
Florida Retirement System
Pennsylvania Public School Retirement System
Teachers Retirement System of Kentucky
Louisiana State Employees Retirement System
Ohio PERS 
New Mexico Educational Retirement Board
New York State Retirement System
New York State Teachers Retirement System
Ontario Teachers Retirement System
Oregon PERS
State of Tennessee Treasury
Teachers Retirement System of Texas
State of Wisconsin Investment Board










3 comments:

  1. Maximus was completely unprepared for Black Swan event shocks like Coronavirus -- security concerns about handling highly sensitive personal identifying information such as Social Security numbers and birthdays make it impossible to pivot to remote work with home-based remote workers.
    Maximus' inability to manage this shift smoothly also implicates future Student Loan servicing. One factor weighing heavily against Maximus are "The Great Resignation" employment trends, lackluster wage differentials, and workplace social distancing. Worker management presents special challenges in the remote working environment. What can Maximus do to recruit, train, and retain call center operatives? That question will decide the future of Maximus' success or failure.

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  2. Borrowers are a lot more resilient than the media gives them credit. They can overcome bad servicers, bad economies, and even coronavirus. Millions of direct loan borrowers in forbearance are repaying their loans. Loan "status" has become even more delinked from payments than it was prior to the pandemic.

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  3. Anonymous, dream on. https://www.highereducationinquirer.org/2022/02/college-meltdown-20.html

    ReplyDelete