CalSTRS Asked to Disclose PE Returns

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) was hit with a Public Records Act request by San Jose Mercury News earlier this month. It asks the pension fund to disclose the performance of its $4.4 billion private equity portfolio.

To date, the Sacramento-based pension has not made any fund performance data public, but it has engaged its general partners in ongoing discussions about the disclosure issue.

“It is an issue we have discussed with our general partners, but at the same time, how we’re going to resolve this issue has not been determined,” says CalSTRS spokeswoman Sherry Reser. “The nature of our communication with our GPs and the specificity of it is an internal portfolio management issue. We do not give details about the management of the investment portfolio.”

CalSTRS’ lawyers are handling the Public Records Act request. They have not outlined a time frame to resolve the issue.

CalSTRS’ private equity portfolio includes funds managed by New Enterprise Associates, Summit Partners, Thomas H. Lee Partners – some of the same funds that may have to disclose their internal rates of return following a tentative ruling late last month in the case of the San Jose Mercury News vs. California Pension Employee Retirement System (CalPERS). Unlike CalPERS, however, CalSTRS has never made its fund returns public, a legal detail that may protect the its investment portfolio from public scrutiny.

“We’re watching closely what happens at CalPERS, but we’re making our own decisions about what happens with these issues,” Reser says.