What Funds Did CalPERS Sell?

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has finally updated its private equity performance data, which was a couple of quarters behind when I called to complain last week. The revised data now brings us through the end of Q2 2008, which makes sense given traditional lag-times in GP reporting and the need to reconcile those reports with actual cash-flow data.

But something is missing. Actually, there are 96 things missing — 96 funds listed in the prior report that are not listed in the new report. What this means is that CalPERS disposed of over 25% of its private equity fund investments between the end of 2007 and the end of June 2008 (not including 2008-vintage funds or the California Emerging Ventures portfolios).

Some of these funds may have simply run their natural course, like a Warburg Pincus vehicle from 1990. But the majority are of more recent vintage, including seven funds raised in 2005 and ten funds raised in 2004. This almost certainly means secondary sales, perhaps as part of a PE portfolio reorganization announced last year.

I’ve put in a call to get confirmation, but it may take a while as CalPERS’ investment meeting is today [Update: CalPERS spokesman confirms most of the deleted funds were sold in secondary sales]. I also plan to make a public records request for financial details about the sales, as it stands to reason that CalPERS should have to disclose disposition values along with carrying values. Also plan to make a  separate public records request for the carrying values of its direct general partnership stakes in firms like Apollo Management and Silver Lake Partners.

Anyway, here is a spreadsheet comparing CalPERS’ private equity fund holdings between the 12/31/2007 report and the 6/30/2007 report. Funds from the old report are in red, while funds from the new report are in black. If you see a red one without a corresponding black one, that means it’s no longer a CalPERS holding.