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Private Equity Performance: Returns, Persistence and Capital Flows

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  • Kaplan, Steve
  • Schoar, Antoinette

Abstract

This paper investigates the performance of private equity partnerships using a data set of individual fund returns collected by Venture Economics. Over the sample period, average fund returns net of fees approximately equal the S&P 500 although there is a large degree of heterogeneity among fund returns. Returns persist strongly across funds raised by individual private equity partnerships. The returns also improve with partnership experience. Better performing funds are more likely to raise follow-on funds and raise larger funds than funds that perform poorly. This relationship is concave so that top performing funds do not grow proportionally as much as the average fund in the market. At the industry level, we show that market entry in the private equity industry is cyclical. Funds (and partnerships) started in boom times are less likely to raise follow-on funds, suggesting that these funds subsequently perform worse. Aggregate industry returns are lower following a boom, but most of this effect is driven by the poor performance of new entrants, while the returns of established funds are much less affected by these industry cycles. Several of these results differ markedly from those for mutual funds.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management in its series Working papers with number 4446-03.

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Date of creation: 05 Mar 2004
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Handle: RePEc:mit:sloanp:5050

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Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA

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Keywords: private equity partnerships; fund returns;

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References

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  1. Brown, Stephen J & Goetzmann, William N & Ibbotson, Roger G, 1999. "Offshore Hedge Funds: Survival and Performance, 1989-95," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72(1), pages 91-117, January.
  2. Khorana, Ajay & Servaes, Henri, 1999. "The Determinants of Mutual Fund Starts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(5), pages 1043-74.
  3. Josh Lerner & Antoinetter Schoar, 2002. "The Illiquidity Puzzle: Theory and Evidence from Private Equity," NBER Working Papers 9146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Gompers, Paul & Lerner, Josh, 1999. "An analysis of compensation in the U.S. venture capital partnership," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 3-44, January.
  6. Jonathan B. Berk & Richard C. Green, 2004. "Mutual Fund Flows and Performance in Rational Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1269-1295, December.
  7. Erik R. Sirri & Peter Tufano, 1998. "Costly Search and Mutual Fund Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1589-1622, October.
  8. Paul A. Gompers & Josh Lerner, 1999. "What Drives Venture Capital Fundraising?," NBER Working Papers 6906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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