Tuesday, July 5, 2011

CalPERS Trims Venture Commitments Except To Khosla: ’09 And ’10 Funds And IRRs

I was under the impression that the big public employee pension plans were increasing the money they threw into venture.
From PE Hub:
Cautious might best describe CalPERS’ current approach to venture capital. Cautious, with one big exception for Vinod Khosla.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has been a steady investor in venture capital over the past decade or so, according to portfolio data it posts online. The most current update of its holdings, dating to Dec. 31, 2010, shows the pension fund with about 217 venture funds.

However, its appetite for new funds slowed in recent years, no doubt due to the global recession. The money manager added 29 new funds in 2007 and 24 in 2008, peHUB found in an analysis of the data. Then the wheels ground to a near halt.

It added seven funds in 2009 and four in 2010. In such a parsimonious world, we thought it would be interesting to look at the funds CalPERS added to its sprawling portfolio. The additions may surprise you…and in any event bring us back to Khosla Ventures founder Vinod Khosla....MORE
As the market was collapsing in October 2008 they had it exactly backward:
Calpers Sells Stock Amid Rout to Raise Cash for Obligations
This is hedge fund behavior, selling your most liquid investments to prop up the illiquid....
They also got bagged by Goldman in their "Long-only index investing" commodities foray:

 CalPERS Playing with Fire
In our July '09 post "CalPERS Clipped for $970 Mil. in Real Estate Fiasco" I said "It's called reaching for yield. And it's stupid, especially when a fiduciary does it."

We have dozens of posts on CalPERS. This outfit is going to cost the taxpayers of California billions over the next decade as markets refuse to accommodate the fund's requirement of 8.5% average annual returns. They have made promises to their public sector retirees that they won't be able to meet and are trying to make up the difference by engaging in behavior that no fiduciary should even contemplate, let alone execute.

If you recall, they were one of Goldman's* largest "long-only index investors" in oil and the GSCI, scaling back only after their commodity bets lost billions....