Fund Performance: Mixed Results From CalPERS’ Emerging Markets Portfolio

Overseas investing has been a tough road for venture firms in the past several years, as international markets have slowed.

This pull back is evident in CalPERS’ EMAlternatives Investments portfolio, which targets such emerging market countries and regions as China, India, Eastern Europe, Russia, Africa and Latin America.

Several funds in the portfolio boast of exceptional and improving results. Others appear to be battling significant headwinds.

The portfolio has seven funds with late-stage, balanced or generalist’s investment strategies, and vintage years of 2007 and 2008. Five of the funds have positive IRRs and two have negative ones, according to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s most recent portfolio, updated September 2012.

While that may seem favorable, the portfolio lost ground in the 12 months leading up to the report, with its median IRR dropping significantly from 6.7% to 2.9%, according to the data. And while four funds improved over the period, three witnessed declines in performance.

A number of funds deserve note. Giza Venture Fund V from 2008 sports an IRR of 39.4%, up substantially from -3.7% in September 2011. Turkish Private Equity Fund II also has an impressive 18.4% IRR.

However, Pacific Road Resources Fund from 2008 backtracked and has an IRR of -1.3%, while ChrysCapital V also is slightly in the red at -0.1%, as of September 2012.

In the accompanying table, please find the funds listed with their IRRs, commitment levels and cash distributions (most of which remain pretty small).