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BUSINESS
April 20, 2010 | Marc Lifsher
Stung by a scandal in which financial middlemen were paid millions of dollars to arrange business deals with it, California's giant public pension fund announced sweeping changes in its dealing with a major New York private equity firm. The California Public Employees' Retirement System, known as CalPERS, said Apollo Global Management has agreed to cut the fees it charges and to stop using middlemen that broker deals. CalPERS and New York-based Apollo jointly announced the new agreement Monday, six months after Apollo was embarrassed by disclosures that it paid more than $40 million to a former CalPERS board member, Alfred J.R. Villalobos, for acting as its so-called placement agent in a series of CalPERS investments.
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BUSINESS
June 17, 1999 | PAUL JACOBS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
With its pension fund bulging with gains from the 1990s bull market, the board of the California Public Employees Retirement System on Wednesday proposed to share the wealth by boosting benefits for more than 800,000 government workers and retirees. The 13-member board asked the governor and Legislature to increase all current CalPERS pensions by up to 5%, make it easier for state workers to retire early, and eliminate a two-tier system that denies full benefits to employees hired since 1991.
BUSINESS
January 25, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
Battered by a volatile market, the California State Teachers' Retirement System posted a 2.3% return on its investments for the year that ended Dec. 30. The performance, though modest, was more than twice as good as reported by the larger California Public Employees' Retirement System, which had a return of only 1.1% on its $229.5-billion portfolio in the just-ended calendar year. CalSTRS had a rough year in 2011. The pension fund had a return of 0.9% on its U.S. stocks, 7.2% on bonds, 9.9% on private equity and 15% on real estate.
BUSINESS
December 17, 2009 | By Marc Lifsher
The California Public Employees' Retirement System, saying it wanted to be more open and clear a cloud hanging over it, has backed proposed legislation to regulate outside investment managers' use of so-called placement agents to pitch huge private equity deals with the fund. On Wednesday, the pension fund's board endorsed a not-yet-written measure that would require such sales intermediaries to register as lobbyists with the state the same way that the people who lobby the Legislature, the governor's office and other government agencies do. Such lobbyists must disclose regularly the names of their clients and the fees they receive.
BUSINESS
February 25, 2010 | By Marc Lifsher
More than two years after California required the sale of investments in foreign companies operating in Iran's defense and energy industries, the state's biggest public pension fund still hasn't sold any of its $900 million in holdings in those firms. On Wednesday, legislators heard criticism from Jewish groups and an Iranian torture victim contending that the California Public Employees' Retirement System and to a lesser extent the State Teachers' Retirement System are flouting a 2007 law designed to bring pressure on the Islamic Republic.
BUSINESS
July 25, 2005 | Marc Lifsher, Times Staff Writer
When Rob Feckner took over as head of the nation's richest public pension fund this year, he promised a quieter, gentler leadership style. That was good news to many -- both friend and foe -- who had grown weary of the noisy controversies that were becoming the norm at the California Public Employees' Retirement System. Critics said that CalPERS at times seemed more intent on policing corporate America than looking after the welfare of its 1.4 million members.
BUSINESS
May 23, 2004 | Tom Petruno, Times Staff Writer
The genius of the U.S. Constitution, as every schoolchild learns, is the simple concept of checks and balances among the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. In the world of corporate governance, the checks and balances on executives historically have been supplied by company directors and by state and federal regulators. But as we learned with the rash of corporate financial scandals of the last few years, directors and regulators can doze off at the wheel.
BUSINESS
November 7, 2003 | Thomas S. Mulligan, Times Staff Writer
Despite a personal sales pitch Thursday from John S. Reed, the California Public Employees' Retirement System will mount a campaign to scuttle his proposed reforms of the New York Stock Exchange. CalPERS, the nation's largest public pension fund, with assets of $145 billion and 1.4 million retiree members, called on federal regulators to reject the plan put forward by Reed, the NYSE's interim chairman.
BUSINESS
December 14, 2004 | Marc Lifsher, Times Staff Writer
The reports of Sean Harrigan's demise weren't premature after all. The activist's effort to regain a seat on the California Public Employees' Retirement System board ended Monday when Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez reappointed a veteran Los Angeles labor leader to the influential pension board. National labor leaders had asked Democrats in the Legislature to tap Harrigan for another term and Harrigan himself lobbied Nunez. But Nunez (D-Los Angeles) named Mike Quevedo Jr.
BUSINESS
May 28, 2010 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
Investment intermediary Alfred R. Villalobos, seeking to overturn a judge's freeze on his assets, said he did nothing illegal and did not harm California's largest public pension fund when he brokered investment deals that netted him more than $47 million in commissions. "Not a penny" of the commissions paid him from 2002 to 2008 came from the California Public Employees' Retirement System, Villalobos said in his first public response to a securities fraud lawsuit filed by Atty.
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