UC to disclose data on investment funds after Reuters lawsuit

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The University of California must disclose data on investment returns for the university’s $10.65 billion endowment fund, an Alameda County Superior Court judge ordered in a tentative ruling Oct. 23.

The ruling requires the university to “make a good faith effort to obtain the information” about its venture capital funds managed by the firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital.

“Assuming that the Regents can obtain the fund level information, it is not exempt from disclosure,” said Judge Evelio Grillo in the ruling.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed in January by Reuters America — an international news agency with a branch based in Oakland — that argues that the university is required to release requested information under the California Public Records Act. The act states that the public has a right to “monitor the performance of public investments.”

The lawsuit was filed after Reuters claimed that the UC system did not provide recent data on individual fund details of its investments to Mark Boslet, a senior editor at Thomson Reuters’ Venture Capital Journal.

According to the ruling, UC officials provided Boslet with details about the UC investments’ performance until 2004 but did not release any further data because officials have not received any new information from the venture capital firms. The UC system was also directed by the court to disclose the same investment information in 2003.

Reuters America was not available for comment, and UC officials declined to comment because of the ruling’s tentative nature.
The investments make up about 2 percent of a $70 trillion UC Regents investment portfolio for the UC Retirement Plan, according to the ruling. The fund is the only portion of the investment portfolio in private equity.

Grillo is expected to issue a final ruling Jan. 16 in order to allow either party to appeal the tentative ruling. The tentative ruling could also be changed before January.

Contact Lindsey at [email protected].