Skip to content

September 22, 2005

For More Information, Contact:
Hema Sareen Mohan at (650) 688-6384


SACRAMENTO – Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced today that he has signed SB 439, by State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), a bill to ensure California’s public pension systems continued access to top-tier, highly profitable alternative investment funds such as venture or hedge funds. 

In recent years, some venture capital firms and hedge funds have excluded public pension systems such as the University of California (UC) and California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) from their investments because of concerns that they will have to disclose trade secrets under the California Public Records Act.  SB 439 will alleviate those concerns by setting clear standards for the scope of information that should or should not be disclosed. 

“SB 439 is a win-win,” said Simitian.  “It strikes a balance between the public’s right to know that public pension systems are protecting and maximizing their assets with the need for investment firms to guard their most sensitive information.” 

Simitian’s SB 439 makes California the first state in the nation to set specific disclosure guidelines.  The provisions of SB 439 were developed in collaboration with the UC, CalPERS, the California First Amendment Coalition, the California Newspaper Publishers Association, the venture capital community, and attorneys who were involved in recently settled disclosure cases. 

“The economic performance of the University’s pension fund allows the University to design retirement plans that recruit and retain the best available staff and faculty,” said University of California President Robert C. Dynes.  “Without that edge, UC will lose an important tool to attract and keep talented faculty from joining private universities that can offer higher salaries.”

Dick Kramlich, General Partner and Co-Founder of New Enterprise Associates, one of the oldest Silicon Valley venture capital firms, added, “It is important for CalPERS’ constituents that the fund be able to compete on a level playing field for the very best private equity investments.  SB 439 represents a leadership approach that both protects the public interest and improves CalPERS’ position in private equity.” 
“CalPERS is proud to have co-sponsored SB 439, an innovative approach that protects the public’s interest in disclosure of information and CalPERS’ ability to secure top-quality alternative investments,” said Rob Feckner, CalPERS Board President.  “CalPERS’ alternative investment program has generated significant overall returns for the system, while also providing opportunities for CalPERS to concentrate investments in California’s economy.”
“This is an important bill for California’s fiscal health,” Simitian added.  “It saves taxpayers’ dollars, strengthens our UC system and public pension funds and ensures the continued availability of venture capital, which is essential to the California economy.”

To learn more about SB 439, visit .