A loose coalition of student activists has come together to form the Unfarallon Group, highlighting the investments of San Francisco-based hedge fund manager Farallon Capital Management LLC. Yale student Justin Ruben and others created a website — www.unfarallon.info — which investigates Farallon's investments, provides performance information and identifies Farallon investors.
"At Yale, we happened to find out that Farallon was plowing endowment assets into an environmentally disastrous water-marketing scheme in Colorado, in spite of tremendous local opposition there. Is this an isolated case or the tip of the iceberg? Without disclosure and dialogue, we have no way of knowing," said Andrea Johnson, a member of the Sustainable Investment Group at Yale's Forestry School in a statement.
Throughout the spring, Unfarallon members urged their universities to release more information about Farallon's investments and tried to get Farallon officials to meet with them. Farallon's management declined.
Mark C. Wehrly, Farallon's chief compliance officer and chief legal officer, did not return a call seeking comment.
Unfarallon's spring activities peaked on an April 16 National Day of Action, when students and alumni from 70 universities asked their institutions for information about Farallon. Students from all over the United States staged protests, soccer games and street theater on the day to highlight their concerns about Farallon's investments.
Mr. Ruben said responses from university endowment officers are trickling in, many responding that they don't employ Farallon. One public university, which is a Farallon client and which Mr. Ruben declined to name, is negotiating with students about how much information the university can reveal. Mr. Ruben said students are appealing a decision by another Farallon client, the University of Texas Investment Management Co., Austin, to not release information about the hedge fund manager.