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A New Method to Estimate Risk and Return of Nontraded Assets from Cash Flows: The Case of Private Equity Funds

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  • Driessen, Joost
  • Lin, Tse-Chun
  • Phalippou, Ludovic

Abstract

We develop a new GMM-style methodology with good small-sample properties to assess the abnormal performance and risk exposure of a non-traded asset from a cross-section of cash flow data. We apply this method to a sample of 958 mature private equity funds spanning 24 years. Our methodology uses actual cash flow data and not intermediary self-reported Net Asset Values. In addition, it does not require a distributional assumption for returns. For venture capital funds, we find a high market beta and significant under-performance. For buyout funds, we find a low beta and no abnormal performance, but the sample is small. Larger funds have higher returns due to higher risk exposures and not higher alphas. We also find that Net Asset Values significantly overstate fund market values for the subset of mature and inactive funds.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis.

Volume (Year): 47 (2012)
Issue (Month): 03 (June)
Pages: 511-535

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:47:y:2012:i:03:p:511-535_00

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  1. Steven N. Kaplan & Antoinette Schoar, 2005. "Private Equity Performance: Returns, Persistence, and Capital Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(4), pages 1791-1823, 08.
  2. Andrew Metrick, 2010. "The Economics of Private Equity Funds," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(6), pages 2303-2341, June.
  3. Andrew Ang & Robert J. Hodrick & Yuhang Xing & Xiaoyan Zhang, 2006. "The Cross-Section of Volatility and Expected Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(1), pages 259-299, 02.
  4. Cochrane, John, 2000. "The Risk and Return of Venture Capital," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt7qm9h594, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
  5. Axelson, Ulf & Strömberg, Per Johan & Weisbach, Michael, 2007. "Why are Buyouts Leveraged? The Financial Structure of Private Equity Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 6133, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Jerry Cao & Josh Lerner, 2006. "The Performance of Reverse Leveraged Buyouts," NBER Working Papers 12626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gompers, Paul & Lerner, Josh, 2000. "Money chasing deals? The impact of fund inflows on private equity valuation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 281-325, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Valkama, Petri & Maula, Markku & Nikoskelainen, Erkki & Wright, Mike, 2013. "Drivers of holding period firm-level returns in private equity-backed buyouts," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2378-2391.
  2. Da Rin, M. & Hellmann, T. & Puri, M.L., 2011. "A Survey of Venture Capital Research," Discussion Paper 2011-111, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Korteweg, Arthur & Nagel, Stefan, 2013. "Risk-Adjusting the Returns to Venture Capital," CEPR Discussion Papers 9610, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Ludovic Phalippou, 2009. "Beware of Venturing into Private Equity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 147-66, Winter.
  5. David T. Robinson & Berk A. Sensoy, 2011. "Cyclicality, Performance Measurement, and Cash Flow Liquidity in Private Equity," NBER Working Papers 17428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Kroencke, Tim A. & Muehler, Grit & Sprietsma, Maresa, 2013. "Return and risk of human capital contracts," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-108, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  7. David T. Robinson & Berk A. Sensoy, 2012. "Do Private Equity Managers Earn Their Fees? Compensation, Ownership, and Cash Flow Performance," NBER Working Papers 17942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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