SACRAMENTO, Calif. (HedgeWorld.com)–Roughly a year has passed since staff members for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System met with SPARX Asset Management officials in Tokyo.
At this month’s investment committee meeting, officials announced a $75 million initial allocation was made to the SPARX Blue Diamond Fund LP on Feb. 1 as part of the pension fund’s risk managed absolute returns strategies program. SPARX, along with other hedge fund firms in Hong Kong and Singapore, was on the CalPERS investment staff Asia tour last spring.
Tokyo-based Sparx Asset Management already handles a corporate governance portfolio for the $208 billion pension fund. SPARX manages 1.47 trillion yen (US$12.5 billion) of which about $440 million is in funds of hedge funds, with the bulk of the assets in Asian hedge funds, according to CalPERS’s meeting agenda materials.
The pension fund’s analysis of the firm says that SPARX has been managing Asian-oriented funds of hedge funds for nine years and that the firm has access to top-quality managers that have closed their offerings to new investors.
The manager search is ongoing at CalPERS, and officials there have partnered with Altura Capital to build a database of emerging managers and financial service providers for use by a larger group of institutional investors. Hedge funds and funds of hedge funds will be included in the database that is being kept in conjunction with the California State Teachers’ Retirement System.
Investment firms have 90 days to review the participation criteria and complete an online questionnaire free of charge at www.alturacap.com. The deadline to join is July 17 and the database will be distributed to participants, plan sponsors, endowments, corporations and other institutional investors.