CalPERS will invest $200 million in the first institutional fund to bring corporate-governance techniques to underperforming Japanese companies. The fund, as yet unnamed, will be advised by SPARX Asset Management, an independent Tokyo-based money manager. The $135 billion California Public Employees Retirement System, Sacramento, and Relational Investors also will share a 30% equity stake in a newly formed company that will manage the limited partnership; SPARX will own the balance. Relational manages $750 million for CalPERS in active corporate governance strategies in U.S. companies.
The fund, which is expected to have its first closing in the first quarter, is expected to raise about $1 billion from U.S., European and Japanese institutions. It will take significant stakes in a small number of midsized publicly held Japanese companies, working with management to improve value for shareholders.