Side Letter: CalSTRS’ fees, ‘shoddy’ copy-paste emails, Europe PE record

Why GPs should always personalise emails to LPs, CalSTRS' fund managers don't want to disclose fees, European investments hit record high. Here’s today's brief, for our valued subscribers only.

Just happened

Must do better

Ever received an email in blue text and realised the sender simply copy-pasted the content?

Apparently GPs have been doing just this. South Korean institutional investors speaking at sister title Infrastructure Investor’s Seoul Summit this week complained of generic emails from fund managers and “shoddy copy-paste” jobs given away by that distinctive blue font of a forwarded message. The panellists in question say they are open to new proposals – just make sure you tailor them to the recipient.

CalSTRS’ fee disclosure

Just under half of the alternative funds CalSTRS committed to prior to January 2017 have declined to allow the pension to make their fees and expenses public. Under Californian law, managers receiving commitments post-January 2017 must allow their fee info to be disclosed publicly, while those with commitments received prior to that date are not required to do so. Staff at the pension said yesterday of those 340 funds, 160 declined.

Asian opportunity

Tikehau Capital has held a first close on its first Asian private equity fund of funds as it pushes further into the region. The asset manager collected $100 million for Tikehau Fund of Funds I and could raise up to $150 million, head of Asia Bruno de Pampelonne tells PEI. Tikehau is the largest investor in the fund, which is expected to hold a final close by mid-2020.


Birds of a feather. PensionDanmark has decided to merge its private debt capabilities into its wider alternative assets team in a bid for greater flexibility. As sister title PDI reports, this is about the need for pensions to focus on risk-return profiles and how they may need to shift as members age. The retirement plan may be on to something, despite the move running counter to the portfolio structure many pension funds are moving towards.

Clear view of performance. Clearlake is hurtling toward a final close for its Clearlake Opportunities Partners II fund, targeting $1 billion. A final close is expected by the end of May, per Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds. Find out how Clearlake’s funds have performed over the years in our latest Performance Watch.

Dig deeper

Want more data? There are more than 6,700 institutions in our database, including CalSTRSClearlake and Tikehau from today’s Side Letter.

They did the math

What downturn? Last year set a record for private equity investment in Europe, with €80.6 billion invested across different strategies, the highest level recorded in history, according to data from Invest Europe.

He said it

“It makes it all the more distasteful because of the things he proclaimed he stood for. It makes people second guess what our motivations were. Because the personal and the professional, given how vocal he was, kind of bleed together.”

Jon Winkelried, the co-chief exec of TPG, talks to Vanity Fair about the allegations against Rise Fund co-founder Bill McGlashan.

We would love your feedback to help us make this newsletter more useful; click here to give us your opinion.

Today’s letter was prepared by Isobel MarkhamAdam LeAlex Lynn and Preeti Singh.

Subscribe now and get Side Letter delivered to your inbox each day

To find out how, email, or call our team:

London: +44 207 566 5432
New York: +1 646 545 6296
Hong Kong: +852 2153 3140