Year in review: time line –

January

* Coller Capital buys almost all of Abbey National’s PE holdings.

* Association for Investment Management and Research releases PE reporting guidelines.

* Intel Corp. creates $200M Digital Home Fund.

* Small Business Administration suspends Section 7(a) business loan program, but resumes it one week later.

* EyeTech Pharmaceuticals Inc. launches the first VC-backed IPO of the year, setting the stage for the best year for VC-backed IPOs since 2000.

* CIT Group sells PE portfolio to Protostar Equity Partners.

February

* Charles River Ventures excludes all public LPs when closing 12th fund at $250M.

* Kleiner Perkins shake up. A VCJ sister pub reports that Vinod Khosla and four others won’t be Managing Partners in its 11th fund. Firm issues a rare press release to explain that Khosla, Kevin Compton, Will Hearst and Doug MaKenzie will be “partners” with reduced roles, and that Tom Jermoluk has left firm.

* Alibaba.com gets $82M in largest VC round ever raised by a Chinese Internet company.

* Placement agent Spencer Cleveland wins $1M verdict against former clients Jerusalem Venture Partners, Shalon Ventures and Worldview Technology Partners for breach of contract.

March

* NVCA declines to explicitly endorse valuation reporting guidelines proposed by the Private Equity Investment Guidelines Group (PEIGG).

* Jazz Pharmaceuticals Inc. raises year’s largest VC round with $250M in Series B funding.

* Brian Larcombe resigns as CEO of 3i Group. The firm names Philip Yea as Larcombe’s replacement in May.

* Windspeed Ventures is tapped to manage and liquidate the investment portfolio of Comdisco Ventures.

* Morgan Stanley announces plans to spin out $3.5B Morgan Stanley PE unit. New firm is named Metalmark Capital.

* SMIC raises $1.8B in year’s largest VC-backed IPO.

April

* FASB issues a proposal that would require employee stock options to be expensed by all companies. NVCA objects.

* Nanosys Inc. files for $115M IPO, prompting skeptics to compare nanotech companies to dot-coms.

* Former Venrock Associates pro Terry Garnett and former ComVentures pro David Helfrich close their inaugural fund (Garnett & Helfrich Capital) with $250.5M.

* Google Inc. files to raise $2.71B via a Dutch Auction-style IPO.

* Colorado Gov. Bill Owens signs law exempting underlying asset information from information that may be disclosed from within the PE portfolios of public institutions in Colorado.

May

* CalSTRS approves plan that would allocate up to 25% of its $1.5B PE investment pool to non-U.S. buyout and VC funds.

* State of Michigan amends its open records laws so that public institutions like the University of Michigan no longer are required to publicly disclose either top-line or bottom-line data from within their PE investment portfolios.

* Jim Breyer of Accel Partners is elected Chairman of NVCA.

* Massachusetts begins discussing disclosure exemptions for PE investments made by the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment board (MassPRIM). End result is a law that exempts disclosure of both top-line and bottom-line data, but MassPRIM exacts compromise whereby it agrees to release IRR data for funds raised over five years earlier.

June

* Baring Private Equity Partners completes management buyout from parent ING Group.

* State of Connecticut gets its day in court against Forstmann Little & Co., 16 months after accusing the buyout firm of securities law violations and breaches of contract. A jury later returns a verdict favorable to Connecticut on some of the charges, but doesn’t award any damages. Forstmann later agrees to settle case for $16.2M.

* Rick Hayes resigns as CalPERS’ chief investment officer for alternative assets, becomes managing partner at Oak Hill Capital Partners.

* St. Paul Venture Capital splits into two firms: Vesbridge Partners and Split Rock Partners.

* AOL agrees to acquire Advertising.com Inc. for $435M in cash. Deal serves as a precursor to a series of large VC financings in the online ad space.

July

* Universal Music Group gets court permission to proceed in its Napster-related lawsuit against Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.

* Hype over China peaks, as big-time U.S. VCs John Doerr, Dixon Doll, Don Valentine and others grace the 2004 Asian Venture Forum.

* Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak becomes a partner of the PE group of Tamir Fishman & Co.

* MetroPCS Communications Inc. withdraws proposed IPO. Company has raised over $350M in VC funding since 1994 inception, and continues to make acquisitions.

* Pantheon Ventures closes Pantheon Global Secondary Fund II with $900M.

* Leon Shahinian is named CIO for CalPERS’ alternative assets, replacing Rick Hayes.

August

* Google Inc. prices IPO. Biggest VC winners are Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins, neither of which sells at IPO. Their shares are worth $8.7B combined by year-end.

* Ron Conway and his dot-com battered Angel Investors are redeemed by Google IPO. Shares are worth $160M by year-end.

* Nanotech sector takes a hit as Nanosys withdraws planned IPO following public market skepticism and harsh public comments by Vinod Khosla of Kleiner Perkins.

* SEC Chairman William Donaldson sends letters to 16 U.S. senators asking them to refrain from overturning proposed FASB rule to require companies to expense employee stock options.

* After 20 years with 3i, Martin Gagen resigns from the firm to pursue a master’s degree in philosophy and history from Stanford University.

* Texas Pacific Group forms in-house hedge fund group.

September

* Mellon Financial Corp. tells its Mellon Ventures unit to stop making new investments.

* Tech IPO czar Frank Quattrone is sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for obstruction of justice.

* California First Amendment Coalition files suit against CalPERS after the pension system refuses to disclose the fees it pays to PE fund managers. Move prompts state legislators to begin considering anti-disclosure legislation.

* FastClick.com Inc., a 5-year-old Internet marketing company, raises $75M in year’s largest Series A funding.

October

* Soros Fund Management spins out PE unit as part of a larger reorganization.

* Battery Ventures closes seventh fund with $450M, after spending several months whittling down more than $2B in requested LP commitments.

* Year’s most unlikely VC-backed IPO is completed by Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc.

* Over 2,000 PE Week Wire readers participate in Presidential Election Poll, with 52% favoring Sen. John Kerry.

* SEC votes to regulate hedge funds.

* Pennsylvania Auditor General Robert Casey Jr. wins court fight to audit state’s two largest pension funds-SERS and PSERS.

November

* California passes Proposition 71, which promises to make state money available for all types of stem cell research.

* U.S. Venture Partners excludes all LPs it feels are subject to Freedom of Information Act requests when closing its ninth fund with $600M.

* Ohio Public Employees Retirement System reduces target allocation to VC investments and redirects money to LBO funds.

* State of Connecticut sells its LP interests in Triumph Capital to Coller Capital in one of the first-ever secondary sales from a state pension system.

* SBA all but kills SBIC program, saying it will not issue any new licenses until October 2005.

December

* Renewed interest in Internet deals is fueled by FastClick’s plan for $92M IPO.

* CSFB announces plans to spin out DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, due to conflicts with its I-banking business.

* FASB issues final ruling that requires employee stock options to be expensed by all companies. NVCA and other trade groups lobby legislators to overturn rule.

* Atlas Venture sells a portfolio of six companies to secondary buyer Omega Fund, highlighting acceptance of secondary sales as portfolio management tools.

* California First Amendment Coalition settles suit against CalPERS. CalPERS agrees to realease management fee data (dollars, not terms) and profit/loss information on all funds in which it has invested.