CalPERS staff committed €150 million ($185 million) to Bridgepoint Europe III, a buyout fund making investments in Western European middle-market companies. The $194.1 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, also committed $100 million to CVC Capital Partners Asia Pacific II, which takes equity stakes in large, pan-Asian companies; and $50 million to Energy Investors Funds Group's United States Power Fund II, which will invest in small- to mid-market U.S. power assets.
CalPERS' absolute-return program invested $50 million in the Chatham Asset High Yield Offshore Fund and $50 million in the Wayzata Recovery Fund, a distressed debt fund.
Separately, CalPERS staff is seeking authority to invest up to $200 million in new corporate governance funds without board approval, when there is a favorable due diligence report from an outside consultant. Such funds have generated an annualized return of 15.98% for the five-year period ended June 30, compared with a customized benchmark of 1.07%, according to a staff memo to the board.
Rosalind Hewsenian, managing director at Wilshire Associates, agreed with the staff recommendation. "Corporate governance investing is becoming far more popular" than when CalPERS started its program, but the area still is in its early days and thus capacity is limited, she noted.
In addition, staff and Wilshire recommended extending the contracts of Oxford Analytica and Verite to help research CalPERS' list of eligible emerging markets.
The CalPERS investment committee will review the recommendations Aug. 15.