It’s no secret that LPs – the big public pension funds, university endowments and high net worth individuals that typically invest in venture capital funds – are disgruntled with cleantech as a sector.
Now Joseph Dear, CIO of the huge California public employees pension fund known as CalPERS, was particularly blunt about it. He disclosed that CalPER’s Clean Energy & Technology Fund, which took in $465 million, had a -9.75 percent return. (h/t to Katie Fehrenbacher of GigaOm)
The fund’s performance details don’t paint a pretty picture.
“We’re all familiar with the J curve in private equity,” said Dear, who appeared on a panel at the Wall Street Journal’s Eco:nomics conference Wednesday night. “Well for CalPERS, Cleantech investing has got an L curve, for Lose….This has been a noble way to lose money…..Just because its a good idea doesn’t make it a good investment.”
Here’s the clip if you haven’t seen it already: