California Public Employees Retirement System, Sacramento, approved an investment of up to $300 million in Pivotal Partners, its first hedge fund, said Brad Pacheco, a spokesman for the $160 billion system. Pivotal Partners will invest in public and private growth companies, focusing on technology. CalPERS also approved investments in what it calls hybrid funds, allowing it to invest in market-neutral, hedge, arbitrage, derivatives-based strategies, concentrated or strategic block funds and crossover funds, in addition to the investments it already has in corporate governance funds. The system also deferred a commitment to Mountain Capital until next months meeting. In related news, the system reported a 12.5% return on its investments for the one-year period ended June 30, marking the fifth straight year of double-digit returns. Its total assets grew by $15 billion during the year, after contributions and benefit payments.