CalPERS private equity investments fall 17 per cent

The California Public Employees' Retirement system's private equity investments fell to $7.3bn in the year to February 2001.

The California Public Employees' Retirement system (CalPERS), the largest pension fund in the US and also one of the biggest investors in private equity, has announced that its private equity investments fell by 17 per cent in the past year to stand at $7.3bn.

The firm's exposure to the asset class for the year to February 2002 stood at 4.9 per cent of CalPERS' total assets of $148.5bn. The targeted annual allocation for alternative investments is 6 per cent. CalPERS invests in private equity via closely held direct investments as well as through funds.

Calpers increased its exposure to private equity in early 2001, paying $175m for a 5 per cent stake in US private equity firm The Carlyle Group and $60m for a minority stake in a venture capital unit of buyout firm Texas Pacific Group.

Bloomberg reports that in 1999, during the height of the Internet boom, private equity was CalPERS’ best performing investment, up 57.8 per cent. During the past year, it suffered the steepest losses of the pension fund's investments.