CalPERS' staff is expected to ask the board to sponsor a bill exempting private debt-related documents from California's public records law, said Danny Brown, chief of the legislative affairs division, at the board's stakeholders forum on Wednesday.
The state's public records law requires disclosure of government records unless there is an exemption or reason not to do so.
Mr. Brown told the group that the idea behind seeking a private debt exemption is to keep private documents such as those related to the underwriting to make a deal. CalPERS officials would like to invest more in private debt, which is currently part of its private equity portfolio. CalPERS has not yet identified an author or authors for the legislation.
Dan Bienvenue, interim chief operating investment officer for the $401.4 billion California Public Employees Retirement System, Sacramento, said in an interview that while CalPERS officials initially would invest in private debt with a money manager, the goal is to manage a private debt portfolio in-house. CalPERS would need to exempt private debt documents from public disclosure in order to be competitive with other private debt market participants, Mr. Bienvenue said.
CalPERS is looking to a private debt program to increase returns, much like it is expecting private equity to boost overall returns so it can attain its 7% expected rate of return, Mr. Bienvenue said.
CalPERS is considering the legislation and has been talking to stakeholders, said Brad W. Pacheco, deputy executive officer, communications and stakeholder relations, in an interview. However, sponsorship of a bill requires board approval, Mr. Pacheco added.