UTIMCO opts to withhold quarterly data

Following objections from a number of GPs, the Texas University fund has decided against publishing data for half of its 130 private equity investments

(PrivateEquityCentral.net) The University of Texas Investment Management Co (UTIMCO), which manages roughly $14bn on behalf of the University of Texas System, has decided to withhold the latest quarterly return data for about half of its private equity investments.

 

In September, UTIMCO’s nine-member board of directors voted unanimously to make publicly available detailed performance data, including valuation estimates and rates of return, on its roughly 130 private equity funds after the Houston Chronicle and several state politicians objected to its policy of non-disclosure for private equity fund returns.

 

At the time, UTIMCO was able to cite an opinion from then-attorney general John Cornyn that the data was public and maintain it did not require the consent of the general partners to disclose the data performance data through its quarter ended August 31.

 

According to Dow Jones, UTIMCO now argues Cornyn's ruling, on the grounds a clause in his opinion stated it “must not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records or any other circumstances,” was limited strictly to the return data through August 31.

 

UTIMCO this week sent a letter to Greg Abbott, Cornyn’s successor as attorney general, seeking a new opinion as to whether it can release the return data without the consent of the individual general partners, a ruling that will eliminate the need to go back to the general partners for consent each quarter. A decision is expected within about 45 days, Dow Jones said.

 

In the interim, UTIMCO has declined to release its fiscal first-quarter return data for about 60 of the 120 venture capital and private equity funds in which it has invested because the fund managers objected.

 

Firms that objected to the disclosure included Austin Ventures, The Carlyle Group, Crescendo Ventures, KKR Associates and Warburg Pincus.

 

In December, both the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement Fund (CalSTRS) announced they would release their private equity investment performance data in order to settle lawsuits with the San Jose Mercury News.

 

Another institution feeling the heat is the Massachusetts’ Pension Reserves Investment Management Board (MassPRIM), which has approximately six per cent of its $27bn in assets committed to private equity. MassPRIM has been approached by two groups with a request to disclose the data under Massachusetts’ Freedom of Information Act.