Court: California university must move to disclose venture returns

From Reuters:

SAN FRANCISCO (Oct 23, 2012) – The University of California must try to obtain and then disclose closely guarded information on the investment performance of venture capital funds managed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital, a state judge said in a tentative ruling made public on Tuesday.

The lawsuit, filed earlier this year in California state court in Oakland by Reuters America, a unit of Thomson Reuters Corp, argues that the state Public Records Act requires disclosure of specific investment-return information for the university system’s $10.65 billion endowment fund.

Reuters argued that the public had an interest in seeing details on the funds’ performance, and previous rulings have held that the university’s returns are public records. But the university argued that Kleiner and Sequoia considered the information confidential and that it receives only aggregate returns data from those two firms. Venture capital firms often strive to keep information about their performance secret.