Golden State Group Demands Hedge Fund Data

May 25, 2005 ( -The California First Amendment Coalition (CFAC), a non-profit organization, is demanding more information from two public funds in the Golden State about their hedge fund investments.

Bringing to mind recent court battles over releasing the details of the public funds’ private equity positions (See  Golden State Guidelines Proposed for Venture Capital Disclosures ), CFAC is now demanding that the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the University of California disclose similar details about their investments in hedge funds, the San Jose Mercury News reported. Specifically, the group wants to see the names of the hedge funds in which the funds are invested, their individual financial performances, specific risk profiles and other detailed information.

Recently, driven by demands for more information, CalPERS has publicly disclosed performance data about venture capital and buyout firms in which it invests, the newspaper said (See  CalPERS Settles Private Equity Data Release Lawsuit ).

But Peter Scheer, executive director of CFAC, told the Mercury News that he wants to test the state laws governing hedge fund information. He fears that the UC system and CalPERS have increased their hedge fund investments at a time when that has become all the rage among institutional players. “If you have too many hedge funds chasing after too few opportunities, it can’t work indefinitely,” Scheer said, according to the Mercury News “We don’t know much about these funds and nothing about their risk profile.”

CalPERS spokeswoman Pat Mach told the newspaper that the pension fund will meet many of CFAC’s requests. CalPERS, she said, has strict guidelines for the hedge funds it picks for investment; it requires deep experience and tenure among fund managers and compliance and audit officers. She said CalPERS has returned 6.8% this year on its hedge fund investments compared with a target of 4.6%.