CalPERS Invests Half Billion in California Communities

May 14, 2001 ( - California Public Employees' Retirement System's (CalPERS)Board of Administration is making investments close to home, hiring 11 venture capital and private equity firms to invest in California's underserved urban and rural communities.

The Board of Administration holds that their investment of $475 million in these underserved areas has the potential to deliver superior returns while fuelling the growth of jobs, businesses and stronger communities.

The CalPERS California Initiative program was launched in June last year with the aim of capitalizing on California?s expected growth rate of approximately 6 million new residents and 2 million new households, 70% of which is expected to occur in urban and rural areas surrounding Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.

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Firms Chosen

The firms chosen and their investments allocated were:

  • Yucaipa Corporate Initiatives Fund, with $200 million,
  • Green Equity Parterns CA Opportunity Fund with $50 million,
  • Levin Leichtman California Growth Partners, receiving $50 million,
  • Draper Fisher Juvetson Central with $20 million,
  • Opportunity Capital Partners Fund IV with $25 million,
  • Provender Opportunities Fund II with $25 million,
  • Bank of America California Community Venture Fund with $50 million,
  • California Embarcadero Fund, receiving $25 million, and
  • American River Ventures Fund,
  • Garage California Entrepreneurs Fund, and
  • Silicon Valley Community Ventures Fund II receiving $10 million each

The 67 firms who applied to the program were evaluated based on performance track record, operating and investing experience in underserved markets, California presence, and alignment of interests with CalPERS.

– Camilla Klein