Hey CalSTRS: Where is your PE performance data?November 2, 2012: 3:02 PM ET
FORTUNE -- Nearly a decade ago, California's two largest public pension funds got into a legal battle with The San Jose Mercury News over what types of private equity investment data they should be required to disclose. The pensions, CalPERS and CalSTRS, argued that releasing fund-specific performance data would violate trade secrets, and releasing underlying portfolio company data could be devastating. The Mercury News said that the public interest should trump such concerns.
Before a judge could officially rule, the two sides reached a compromise: CalPERS and CalSTRS would regularly post fund-level performance data on their respective websites, while underlying portfolio data would remain confidential.
And so it has gone. Well, until now.
CalSTRS hasn't updated the fund performance page of its website for several quarters, with current information only good through September 30, 2011. That's right, the information for this $22 billion portfolio is more than a year old. Private equity reporting always lags a bit, but this is absurd.
CalPERS, for example, has data through the end of March 2012. Same with the Washington State Investment Board. Many other state systems that didn't get brought to court at least provide the data through year-end 2011.
Moreover, it is important to note that CalSTRS itself used to be more prompt. In November 2010, for example, data was posted through March of that year.
I began asking CalSTRS for updated data at the end of September. First I was given a report that included aggregate performance for each private equity manager, but nothing on a fund-by-fund basis. Then a system spokesman told me on October 1 that the data would be updated within a week. But it wasn't.
I reached back out to that same spokesman today, who said he'd look back into it. At this point, I'm not holding my breath for an adequate response.
UPDATE: On Monday, CalSTRS updated its fund performance data.
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