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CalPERS plans big VC push

A hunt for higher returns has prompted CalPERS, the biggest public pension scheme in the US with $442 billion in assets, to make a multibillion-dollar push into international venture capital following what it has dubbed a “lost decade” of returns, according to a report by The Financial Times.

A hunt for higher returns has prompted CalPERS, the biggest public pension scheme in the US with $442 billion in assets, to make a multibillion-dollar push into international venture capital following what it has dubbed a “lost decade” of returns, according to a report by The Financial Times.

In a review of its $52 billion private equity portfolio published on Friday, the California-based scheme set out its plans including an expansion of investments in Europe and Asia.

The report cites unnamed scheme officials as indicating that CalPERS could allocate as much as $5 billion in new money to venture capital investments, making it one of the single largest US investors in the sector. 

Currently just 1% of CalPERS’s private equity portfolio is allocated to venture capital, with buyout and growth equity investments accounting for the lion’s share – 73% and 20% respectively.

Anton Orlich, CalPERS’s managing investment director for growth and innovation has reportedly said the pension plan’s decision to put its private equity investment programme on hold between 2009 and 2018 resulted in a “lost decade” of returns totalling an estimated $18 billion.
 

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