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SB 439: University of California : Disclosure (2005)


The ability of California’s public pension and retirement systems – CalPERS, the University of California Retirement System, and STRS preeminent among them – and of public endowments and foundations to include highly profitable investments in venture capital funds, hedge funds, and other alternative investments within their portfolios is being curtailed, because under current statute and case law confidential, proprietary information regarding those funds and the speculative companies in which they invest can be revealed through the Public Records Act.  Since these private funds and companies may actually be put at risk by the revelation of that information, they have begun precluding public sector investment.  The result is that our public retirement funds are losing access to funds that have returned over $5 billion more during the past ten years than they would have had they been invested in the remainder of their investment portfolios.  Additionally, the critical technology and biotechnology sectors of California’s economy are suffering from the withdrawal of large, highly stable investment capital.

SB 439 (2005) balances the public’s ability to know that public retirement systems are protecting and maximizing their assets with the need for alternative investment firms to protect their proprietary information. The bill will achieve this balance by establishing a clear standard for the scope of investment data, specifically alternative investment information, that is subject to public disclosure.  Greater clarity in this area will:

  • Enable the public investment systems in California to maintain access to top-tier, high-performing alternative investments
  • Protect the public’s right to know what is being done with public funds
  • Reduce the number of costly legal challenges in the future
  • Create consistency in disclosure obligations among all California investment systems
  • Support California businesses

Final Status and Text

SB 439 is no longer active. Its final status was:
Signed into Law

You can read its final text on the Legislature's Bill Information site.

News & Press Releases about SB 439

09/22/2005 - Governor Signs Simitian Bill to Allow Public Pension Systems Access to Highly Profitable Funds