ARVCO Financial Ventures, a placement firm run by a former board member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, has received far more in fees from the pension than any other placement agent.
ARVCO, run by Alfred Villalobos, has received more than $58 million in fees from fund managers for work on securing commitments from CalPERS. That’s according to more than 600 placement agent disclosures the pension released Thursday as part of its review of placement agents’ interaction with CalPERS that start last spring.
The amount ARVCO has made dwarfs every other placement agent that has solicited investments for fund managers from the pension. A little-known New York firm called Tulling, which made the second highest amount, collected about $17 million. Donald, Lufkin & Jenrette made about $12 million and Credit Suisse collected about $11 million.
In light of recent questions raised about placement agents, we are working aggressively to take measures to provide transparency, adopt thoughtful reforms and restore trust in our system.
The disclosures for the most part relate to new investment proposals since May 2009, when CalPERS’ policy was enacted. But some firms voluntarily disclosed information provided by managers with ongoing commitments to pay placement agents for existing investments.
CalPERS has been undertaking a “special review” of placement agent activity related to the pension’s investments. “Gathering information is not enough. We remain firmly committed to pursuing a full and fair examination that the special review will provide,” according to Anne Stausboll, the pension’s chief executive officer.
“In light of recent questions raised about placement agents, we are working aggressively to take measures to provide transparency, adopt thoughtful reforms and restore trust in our system,” she said in a statement.